Tuesday, August 15, 2017

He is Near


The LORD is near, He is present, He is approachable, He is lovely and beautiful, He is a joy to be with, He urges us to seek Him, and He loves each one of us.

OK, it is true that the Lord God is the Almighty Creator, as it is implied in Psalm 8:3,4
3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
4 What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?

And it is true that the Lord God is majestic and glorious, as it says in Isaiah 6:1-4
 1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said:
“ Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; 
The whole earth is full of His glory!” 
4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.

And it is true that He was previously unapproachable as is described in Exodus 19:12
12 You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, ‘Take heed to yourselves that you do not go up to the mountain or touch its base. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. 


NEVERTHELESS, the focus here is on the fact that He is near, He is present, He is approachable, He is lovely and beautiful, He is a joy to be with, He urges us to seek Him, and He loves each one of us.  And His name is Jesus Christ.

We don't want to ignore the need for holiness or change while we focus on His presence.  Rather, I will argue that one can't come into His presence without being changed in the process, and one can't be changed (become holy) without coming into His presence.  The end result for us is that we are being conformed to His image.
I John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

So here are some scripture references that express this perspective or this focus.  ..............................................

Psalm 16:11 
11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 23
1 The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness 
For His name’s sake. 

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; 
For You are with me; 
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; 
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life; 
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD 
Forever.

Psalm 27:4
4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek: 
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, 
To behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.

Psalm 27:8
8 When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.”

Psalm 34:6-10
6 This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them. 
8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
9 Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.

Psalm 40:1-3
1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me, 
And heard my cry.
2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay, 
And set my feet upon a rock, 
And established my steps.
3 He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God; 
Many will see it and fear, 
And will trust in the LORD

Psalm 46:1,2
1 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed, 
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Psalm 63:1
1 O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You; 
My soul thirsts for You; 
My flesh longs for You 
In a dry and thirsty land 
Where there is no water.

Psalm 84:10
10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God 
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

Psalm 91 The whole psalm

Psalm 95:1,2
1 Oh come, let us sing to the LORD!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

Psalm 95:6,7
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
7 For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture, 
And the sheep of His hand.

Psalm 100:4,5
4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise. 
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the LORD is good;
His mercy is everlasting, 
And His truth endures to all generations

Psalm 103:1-5
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s

Psalm 103:13,14
13 As a father pities his children,
So the LORD pities those who fear Him.
14 For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust. 

Psalm 123:1,2
1 Unto You I lift up my eyes,
O You who dwell in the heavens.
2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,
As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, 
So our eyes look to the LORD our God, 
Until He has mercy on us.

Song of Solomon 1:2,3
2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— 
For your love is better than wine. 
3 Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, 
Your name is ointment poured forth; 
Therefore the virgins love you.

Song of Solomon 2:4,5
4 He brought me to the banqueting house, 
And his banner over me was love. 
5 Sustain me with cakes of raisins, 
Refresh me with apples, 
For I am lovesick.

Song of Solomon 2:10-13
10 My beloved spoke, and said to me: 
“ Rise up, my love, my fair one, 
And come away. 
11 For lo, the winter is past, 
The rain is over and gone. 
12 The flowers appear on the earth; 
The time of singing has come, 
And the voice of the turtledove 
Is heard in our land. 
13 The fig tree puts forth her green figs, 
And the vines with the tender grapes 
Give a good smell. 
Rise up, my love, my fair one, 
And come away! 

Isaiah 55:6 
6 Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.

Jeremiah 29:11-13
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Matthew 6:6
6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Matthew 6:9-13
9 In this manner, therefore, pray: 
Our Father in heaven, 
Hallowed be Your name. 
10 Your kingdom come. 
Your will be done 
On earth as it is in heaven. 
11 Give us this day our daily bread. 
12 And forgive us our debts, 
As we forgive our debtors. 
13 And do not lead us into temptation, 
But deliver us from the evil one. 
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen

Matthew 7:7-11
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?  11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Matthew 14:25-27 
25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”

(Jesus as He is now:)
Matthew 18:19,20
19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

(Jesus as He is now:)
Mark 11:20-24
20 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”  22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

(Jesus as He is now:)
Luke 10:38-42
38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 15 - The lost and found chapter with three lost and found parables - especially the parable of the Lost Son

(Jesus as He is now:)
John 14:12-14
12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

(Jesus as He is now:)
John 15:14,15
14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

(Jesus as He is now:)
John 16:23,24
23 And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Romans 8:14-17
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

(Jesus as He is now:)
Philippians 4:6,7
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

(Jesus as He is now:)
Hebrews 4:14-16
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 10:19-22
19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 13:5,6
5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we may boldly say:  “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear.  What can man do to me?”

James 4:7,8
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

(Jesus as He is now:)
I John 5:14,15
14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

(Jesus as He is now:)
Revelations 1:12-17
12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

And He loves each one of us.

All scripture above is from NKJV
Larry Carroll

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Advice To The Bride And Groom


Helen and I recently attended our granddaughter's wedding. During the reception, there was the dance (a waltz) where all of the married couples got out on the floor and little by little were ushered off until just the longest married couple remained, and we were "it". (52 years in September) So, the MC gave me the microphone and asked us to give the newly married couple some advice.
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Here it is, short and sweet:
1. Forgive each other.
2. Lay down your lives for each other.
3. Give each other a big kiss at the end of the day.
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There wasn't time for anymore than that. But there is so much more to say, isn't there?!
So I'd like to address and expand just the first two points above.
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Marriage is the sacred, God ordained union of two imperfect people. The imperfections will cause hurts. So:
1. Forgive each other. This is so necessary.  Without it, we become bitter.
Also, since our marriages reflect the union of Jesus Christ and His bride:
2. Lay down your lives for each other. This also is so necessary.  Without it, we become isolated and self-centered.

However, we will eventually find out these are both humanly impossible. If we are aware of our need for help before things get too rough, good. Else, the enemy will start suggesting thoughts, such as, "Hey this isn't fair. I'm doing all of the forgiving," which is NOT true. Or, "I'm not happy," which probably is true.
What we need to do is to cry out to the LORD to fill each of us daily with the Spirit of God and enable both of us to do the impossible, which in this case is:
1. Forgive each other.
2. Lay down our lives for each other.
And don't wait for your spouse to go first! You pray!
The good new here is that the Lord God is eager to step in and deliver struggling marriages, if requested.
Helen and I have been there.
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OK, some of you will ask, "Well, how come He didn't save my marriage?" I'm sorry that He didn't, and I know it was extremely painful, but I have no answer for you. Sorry.
There is so much more to say, isn't there?!!!!

Larry Carroll

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Details



The LORD truly is aware of everything in us, everything happening to us, and everything that could happen to us.

And He loves us.  Make that personal; He loves you.

One fairly well known portion of scripture that illustrates His awareness of all the details of our lives is Matthew 10:29,31:
Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

All of Psalm 139 shows this, too, but Psalm 139:17,18 makes it very clear:
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.

Therefore, when we are in trouble, and the enemy whispers to us that we are on our own, that there is no one here to help us now, recall this truth; the LORD will never leave you nor forsake you.  He knows how to save you, and will save you from your present distress.

Jesus saves!  He still does!  Hallelujah!

Larry Carroll



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Jesus Is Altogether Lovely


Yes, people often come to Jesus because they have a need He can fulfill.

But then, some get close and see His beauty, His glory, and the beauty of His holiness, experience His love, and discover He is altogether lovely.

Oh yes, He is altogether lovely. Really. And so, we fall in love with Him. Jesus. Hallelujah!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Exodus 34:6, Psalm 103:3


What is God like?  Well, look at Jesus and you will see what God is like.  He is the exact representation of the Father.

However, even in the Old Testament, we get a clear picture of what God is like, which agrees with what we see in Jesus.

Exodus 34:6,

In the King James Bible this verse says:
And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

And in the New Living Translation it says:
The LORD passed in front of Moses, calling out, "Yahweh! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.

So we see the wonderful gracious nature of the LORD here in the Old Testament.  The Lord God is good, only good.

Now in Psalm 103:3, we read how far reaching this goodness is.  It is all inclusive.

In the King James Bible this verse says:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases;

And in the New Living Translation it says:
He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.

Now let me stretch you a bit.
"all" mean "all", right?  OK, let's be consistent here.
If He forgives all my iniquities, then He heals all my diseases.
If He doesn't heal all my diseases, then He doesn't forgive all my iniquities.

Well, I'm believing that the Bible is true, and therefore, He forgives all my iniquities, and He heals all my diseases.

Which is more important?  Well, they are both very wonderful promises, but forgiving all my iniquities is vastly more important than any other promise.

Hey, ask Him to forgive you; and ask Him to heal you, too.

Larry Carroll

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


I love the LORD, the Lord God.

Why?

Well, of course because He first loved me.

But also because He is lovely, altogether lovely.

Larry Carroll

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Rejected And Forsaken


Rejected and Forsaken

We have examples in the scripture where people feel, and truly are, rejected or persecuted, yet can find comfort in their relationship with the Lord God, even though their world is caving in.

1. Psalm 27:10
When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the Lord will take care of me.

Father and mother are the last ones on earth that would ever forsake a person, in a normal functional family.  This is an extreme case of rejection.

2. Habakkuk 3:17-19
Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength;

This describes total disaster - nothing left at all.  Yet will I rejoice in the Lord.

3. Acts 16:16-28
Paul and Silas were falsely accused of making trouble in Philippi.  They were then beaten, resulting in bloody stripes and locked up in an inner prison (which we would call a dungeon).
So we have here two who were severely abused both in the court of public opinion and bodily.

However, the story goes on:
But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”

We have here an illustration of two men that knew and demonstrated that they still had access to the throne of grace, to the presence of the LORD God, no matter what the circumstance was.

---
So no matter what the circumstances, whether they be relational distress or loss, bodily harm, or even total disaster, we still have our connection to Father God.  We can still enter into His presence, into the Holy of Holies, and rejoice in Father's love, grace, and mercy for us.

We are blessed beyond measure.

But on the cross, Jesus could not do this.  As it says in Psalm 22:1
"My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"  See also Matthew 27:46.  Jesus, on the cross, was cursed beyond measure.  And He did this willingly!  What love He had, and has, for us.  Amazing!

We are blessed beyond measure.  There is no place for us here to feel sorry for ourselves and enter into self pity.

Larry Carroll

All scripture referenced is NKJV.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Able To Teach


First Timothy 3:2 says:
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; (NKJV)

"Able to teach"  So how did Jesus model it?

Matthew 7:28:
And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
Mark 1:22:
And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.
Luke 4:32:
and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority
Luke 24:32
Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?
(all ESV)

Well, we can see Jesus' teaching did much more than just transfer information or knowledge.  Now knowledge is good, but inspiration is... well, better.  Knowledge is a tool we need, but inspiration gives us energy.

Knowledge builds the mind, and if it is the mind of Christ, that's wonderful.  However, the mind of Christ within us depends foundationally on the inspiration we receive in our hearts.

So, I believe that in the description of a true bishop in I Timothy 3, the ability to teach includes the ability to inspire.

Larry Carroll


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Looking Forward To My 50th Wedding Anniversary


It's 2015 and I'm looking forward to my 50th wedding anniversary this year, September 18th.

September 18th is also the wedding anniversary of my Aunt Margaret and Uncle Donald who were married over 70 years. They were married exactly 30 years before Helen and I were married.

Knowing this, one of my goals has been, and still is, to reach 70 years in my marriage, too, as they did. And why not?

And why not you, if you married early in life? Why not?

Larry Carroll

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Fresh Start


People value and celebrate a new year for various reasons.  One of them is, it is an opportunity for a fresh start.  Most people understand the need we have to flush out the old junk and start over again with a clean page or clean plate.

Other time periods have offered, and can still offer, similar opportunities for new beginnings.

In the Old Testament, the New Moon was a time that was celebrated for a purpose like this.

And we know the Sabbath Day provides, as a byproduct of worshiping the Lord, a refreshment to the worshiper.

However, Ecclesiastes 3:23 tells us that the mercies of the Lord God are new every morning.  Here we see that the Lord Himself restores us as we focus on Him and His presence - right here, right now.

And focusing on the Lord Jesus is a delight when He reveals His love and beauty to us.  He draws us to Himself as we see that love and beauty giving us an opportunity for a clean heart and new hope.

Hallelujah!

Larry Carroll

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Man Upstairs


Last week I was asked if I believe in "the Man Upstairs".  It was a sincere question I think, so it deserves a sincere answer.

OK, no one can know if there is a God or what He is like, unless the Lord God reveals Himself to us.

Uh oh.  It sounds like He's unknowable.

Well, the scripture does give us hope when it says in Jeremiah 29:

'Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,' declares the LORD.

And then the Lord gives us even more hope by making this statement in Isaiah 65:

I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me.

Which makes it sound like He's very active in the process of establishing a relationship between Himself and us.  And He is.  The Lord God is drawing all to Himself, through Jesus.

So how does the Lord God reveal Himself?

Through the written Word of God, which becomes alive in us.  It becomes the living Word.
Through the honest testimony of other people that have experienced His presence, and this also produces life in us.

Then we see Him as He is - beautiful beyond description.  This makes us hunger for more.

Oh taste and see that the LORD is good!  (Exceedingly good!)  Psalm 34:8

And He wants you!

More, LORD!


LarryCarroll

Psalm 150:6 Hallelujah!


Psalm 150:6
Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD!  Hallelujah!

Well, I have breath, so...  Hallelujah!

pause...

Hallelujah!

Good.  You got it.


Larry Carroll

Friday, October 17, 2014

Why Get Baptized?


Why get baptized? -or - One way to demonstrate your faith.

Romans 10:9,10 says we should confess and believe.  (only)
Acts 16:31 says we should believe.  (only)
The thief on the cross did not get baptized, as found in Luke 23:39-43.

Then what need is there to get baptized?

However,
Acts 2:38 says we should repent and be baptized.

Yes or no?

One way to connect or reconcile these two thoughts is found in James 2:14-26 "Show me your faith by your works."

The idea I'm pulling out of James 2 is this:
Faith needs to be demonstrated and baptism demonstrates faith.

Larry Carroll

God's Presence


God's presence is heaven itself.

Heaven on earth (the promise, the down payment, the guarantee of our inheritance as stated in Ephesians 1:14) is God's presence, or more precisely, the presence of the Holy Spirit.

And know this, Psalm 16:11 says, "In Your presence is fullness of joy.  At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

Larry Carroll

A Forshadowing or Harbinger Of The Gospel


What is the gospel, or "The Gospel"?  It is the very, very good news that the Lord God has made a way to restore each of us individually to Himself, as His child, through the payment made by Jesus on the cross.  He has made a covenant with us, which is now called the New Covenant, and He has fulfilled His part of this new covenant/agreement by paying our penalty for us.

And in the process, he is changing us, which is not just icing on the cake.  This is new life.  This is freedom.

Why did He do this?  Because He loves us, each of us.

Now as a forshadowing of that good news, the Lord God set up a system with His chosen people that demonstrated the process of sacrifice or payment for sin.  That was also a covenant, and is now called the Old Covenant.

OK, even from the beginning, the Lord God wanted to restore us to Himself, and bless, not curse, His sons and daughters.  We see this in Deuteronomy 28 where the Lord God shares the blessings of obedience and the curses of disobedience.  Both the blessings and the curses are quite comprehensive.

Psalm 103:3-5 summarizes the the Lord's blessings or benefits this way

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:

3 Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,

4 Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,

5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.  (NKJV) 

Some folks have found that forgiveness of all our iniquities is so wonderful (and it is) that they ignore the other blessings.  Alas.

Some other folks have then overcompensated by calling verses 3 through 5 "the Full Gospel".  Well, that's OK, but the Gospel itself really does include the whole package.

The New Covenant really is better than the Old Covenant, since the Old Covenant was impossible to keep.  But what was promised in the Old Covenant is even better than the expectation of many believers today.  I believe the primary reason believers limit the Gospel to forgiveness of sin (and the hope of heaven) is circumstances in their lives.

Circumstances argue against the promises of God.  However, if we walk by faith and not by sight, then we choose to believe the Word of the Lord rather than anything else, and eventually circumstances give way to the power of the Lord to save.

The enemy keeps saying to us, "Did God really say ...?", as he said in the Garden of Eden.  Rebuke him.

Hey, if you can't believe these declarations:
"He heals all your diseases,
He redeems your life from destruction,
He crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
He satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s",
then how can you be sure He is sharing the truth about:
"He forgives all your iniquities" ?

Hey, stop believing only a part of the Gospel.  Jesus loves you.

Larry Carroll

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Babysitting My Granddaughter


I was blessed to babysit my 22 month old granddaughter today.

She was much more active than I was, but we laughed together and enjoyed each other's company all day.  Of course this wouldn't have happened if I hadn't spent many, many hours with her in the past, during which she got to know me, and dare I say, love me to the extent that one her age can love.  "Papa!", she calls out when I come in the door.  It's really nice.

Well, this afternoon she had trouble falling asleep at nap time, so I came into her bedroom and turned the sleepytime music on and leaned on the side of her crib for a while.  She decided she wanted out of her crib, so eventually I got her up and held her.


After holding her a while, both of us hugging each other, I had a feeling.  Yes, it was a feeling, and I knew this feeling of love I had for her is the feeling of love my Heavenly Father has for me, only His is so much more, of course.

This feeling or knowing is indescribable.  It's impossible to explain.  Parents and grandparents know what it is, and
 I understand that aunts and uncles and anyone who truly loves a small child (or even a pet) can also feel this love.

Many of you know the feeling. This illustrates how Jesus loves you - so tenderly and passionately.

Another blog post I recently wrote on August 30, 2014 entitled, "Touch Works Both Ways" deals with this topic, focusing on John leaning on Jesus' breast.  I'm sure they not only knew they were loved but they both felt it.

Larry Carroll

Monday, September 29, 2014

Our Car Was Totaled Last Wednesday - And Yet I Will Rejoice In The Lord



I guess there's a lot I could say about this, but I'll just briefly share that Helen and I were in a four car pile up on I81 in Harrisburg, PA - seven miles from our destination.  I was driving.

Since it is an eleven year old car, we did not have collision insurance, and wondered what to do.

But some friends were two hours behind us, going to the same conference, and they offered to tow our car home that night, behind their pickup truck with a trailer I rented.  God's grace - really, really.  And our friends' grace, too.

Well, I have had some internal dealings, as you can imagine.  There has been a pull in me toward feeling blue and guilty and stupid, but I am fighting it with praise, using the praise language the Spirit has given me.  And in spite of the accident, in which I am charged with following too closely, I know I am beloved of the Lord Jesus, and beloved by my Father in heaven.  I know how I would treat my own kids if they messed up like this.  And I trust they do, too.  So I will bless the Lord at all times, as it says in Psalm 34.  And I will rejoice in the Lord always, as it says in Philippians 4.  And that means now, of course.  Hallelujah.

Larry Carroll

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Get Serious


In the book of The Acts of the Apostles, chapter 12, when the disciples "got serious" about praying for a Christian in danger, he who was in danger, (in this case it was Peter) was delivered.

(OK now, I am limiting my discussion to the Bible accounts.  I am aware that there have been Christian martyrs throughout the last 2000 years.  That's not the point.  What the Lord has deemed worthy to include in His book is the point.  It's His story, His lesson.)

OK, really?  Did they only "get serious" about praying for Peter?  Were they not serious about praying for Stephen or James?

Well, maybe they were, but there was no prayer meeting recorded in scripture for these two men.

In the book of Esther, when the queen (and let me emphasize that she was the king's BRIDE) pleaded for her people, the king listened, granted her request, and saved her people.

Can we not also plead for our people who are in danger?  Do we not have a special relationship, as the bride of Christ, to the King (the King of Kings)?  Is He not compassionate, gracious, and merciful?

Yes, we can plead for our people.  We do have a special relationship with the King.  And He is compassionate, gracious, and merciful.

OK, so what do we have to do to "get serious"?  Let's start with repentance.  If I am too busy, or too apathetic, to pay attention to the desperate situation people are in, I need to repent.

If I don't believe my intercession with Father God will "avail much", I need to repent of my unbelief.  For it says in James 5:16, "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man/person avails much".

Get serious.  Pray.

Larry Carroll

Touch Works Both Ways


My youngest granddaughter sat right next to me for a half hour yesterday.  I was blessed.

In the evening I realized that Touch, as a love language, works both ways (assuming a good functional relationship).

And that made me realize that both John and Jesus felt loved and blessed when John leaned against Jesus' breast during the Last Supper.  Yes, Jesus felt it, too.

OK, since Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and today and forever, He will feel your love too, as you press in and get close to Him, or try to get close to Him.

Hey, try.  He knows your heart.  You will bless Him just by trying to press in to Him.

Larry Carroll

Just Ask, It's That Easy


Recently I was talking with my neighbor, and he told me about his cancer treatment and recovery from the treatment.

Chris said it took him only three weeks for him to recover what commonly takes others four to six months.

People remarked about this difference and he told them that "he has God".  He asked Father God for healing and substantially received it in the aforementioned three weeks.

Then he said something which I found very profound, "Ask.  Just ask.  It's that easy!"

Thank you, Chris.  Ask.  Just ask.  It's that easy.

OK, is this documented?

Well, I believe you're asking about his rapid recovery.  I can say I saw him a few months ago, after he started his radiation treatments, and I saw the mark they have made on his neck.

But I will give you some other documentation.

Matthew 7:7-11
7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

John 14:13,14
13 whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

John 16:23,24
23 And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Aren't you taking these promises out of context?

OK, read them in context.  It won't change the essence.

Are there any conditions on these promises?

Well, there is this matter of believing the Lord God's promises.
Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

And there is this thing about forgiveness.
Matthew 6:14,15
14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

OK, this last condition concerning unforgiveness needs to be expanded a bit.  Unforgiveness turns a person's attention inward, towards himself/herself.  One would never say it, but one is then acting as if he/she is the most important person of all.  What the world system claims, "I'm number one!" then becomes true in his/her life.  Very unhealthy.

Larry Carroll

All scripture quoted is from the New King James Version.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Not Enough Evidence


Recently I came across an apparently famous quote made by Bertrand Russell.  When asked what he would say when facing God on judgment day, Bertrand Russell famously replied that he would say "Not enough evidence, God! Not enough evidence!" 
 (From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_nonbelief)

I'm sure others are thinking the same thing, too.

Well, it was early in the morning and I had some time to think.  I thought about the wind, as described in John 3:8.  I thought later about Psalm 19, that the heavens declare the glory of God.  And Romans chapter 1:20 says His invisible attribute are clearly seen, too.  But I know to Betrand Russell and others like him with hardened hearts, these mean nothing.

Then I thought about Jesus Christ.  He is the exact representation of Father God as it says in Colossians 1:15 and Hebrews 1:3.  The question then should be, "What do you think of Jesus Christ?"

So we will start with that for now.

Now here's a thought.  With the Holy Spirit inside me, I should also be (OK, be becoming) the exact image of Father God, and, of course, so should every other believer.

So again, we'll start with the question, "What do you think of Jesus Christ."

But then as we are more and more conformed to the image of Jesus, we will demonstrate godliness in our lives, which will be the greatest evidence of all.  Then the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea, as it says in Habakkuk 2:14.

In fact, the whole earth is full of His glory already, as it says in Isaiah 6:3.

Evidence?  The evidence is inside us.  He's the Holy Spirit bubbling up as a river of life out of you and me, believer.

One more thing, just remember, there is no such thing as hopelessness, when the Lord God is involved.


Larry Carroll



Tell Him You Love Him - Again


Do you know that joke - where a wife says to her husband, "Honey, do you love me?"  And the husband answers, "I told you I love you when we got married, and if I change my mind I'll let you know."

Well, initially it's funny, but in the long run it's really very sad.  Could that really happen?  I'm sure it has, alas.

Don't do that to the Lord God, to the Lord Jesus Christ.

What?

Don't say in essence, "Well, I let Him in when I got saved, so I can check that off as complete/done (I got my ticket to heaven so I know where I'm going.)", and then go about living your life as best you can.

He's still knocking at the door of your heart, as we see in these two verses.  He wants to know if you still love Him.

(1) Revelation 3:20
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (NKJV)

Isn't that written to unbelievers?

Yes and no.  It's written to everyone, but here Jesus is speaking to seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3.

(2) Song of Solomon (Song of Songs) 5:2
I sleep, but my heart is awake;
It is the voice of my beloved!
He knocks, saying,
“Open for me, my sister, my love,
My dove, my perfect one;
For my head is covered with dew,
My locks with the drops of the night." (NKJV),

See how the beloved (Jesus) views YOU - my sister, my love, My dove, my perfect one.  His heart is longing for you.

In His presence is fullness of joy.  Reach out to Him.  Let Him in.

Blessings,
Larry Carroll


Father's Instructions


Instructions from Father God are full of godly wisdom - obviously.

So how might we describe "godly wisdom"?  Let's start with James 3:17:
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.

OK, so if what we hear is not pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, and without hypocrisy, then it does not contain godly wisdom, and it is worthless.

OH, but this wisdom we are rejecting might be pretty good (or fairly good, or kinda good).

Yes, I understand, nevertheless, not godly.  This is analogous to the story of the brownie mix made up with just an ever so slight amount of doggy poop mixed in.  You wouldn't even notice the poop mixed in since it is such a tiny amount.  But knowing it is there will keep most everyone away from it.

OK, the above is written primarily to the listener.  How about the speaker?

Speaker, guard your heart, for out of the heart the mouth speaks.

Read Matthew 15:1-19, which ends as follows:
18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man(person) ... (NKJV)

Proverbs 4:23,24
23 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth,
And put perverse lips far from you. (NKJV)


How?  Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

Larry Carroll

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Good Friday


The good part of Good Friday is in Matthew 27:51: "the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom".  This is a clear picture of what was happening in the heavenly realm.  It illustrates that everyone now has full access to the Holy of Holies.  We can come into God's presence at any time, all the time, in fact, right now!  As the song says, "Just as I am, without one plea... I come."

On the cross, a great 'swap' took place; Jesus took our sin and we received His righteousness and His access into the presence of Father God.  This was the best 'trade' anyone could ever make, and it was Father's idea!

Enjoy God's presence right now!  (How? Start by praising Him.)  Psalm 16:11 says, "In Your presence is fullness of joy..."  He wants you to come to Him.

There is also a Good Friday blog entry below from 23 April 2011.

Larry Carroll

Thursday, December 19, 2013

He Shall Reign Forever And Ever


Yesterday evening I was reading about how "The Church" is losing relevance and how it is impossible for it to have both relevance and moral authority simultaneously.  The inevitable result is supposedly a decline into total insignificance.  (Alas)

Well this morning I was sitting in bed, praising the Lord, and praying in tongues.  A vision came to me of a stone on the top of a hill that got loose and rolled down the hill.  As it rolled it grew larger and larger.  When it got to the bottom of the hill it crushed an image (a statue) that represented all of the kingdoms (governments and cultures) of this world.

Many of you know this vision is written up in Daniel 2, verses 31 through 35, with the interpretation following in verses 36 through 45.  (Well, there is no mention of a hill or the stone rolling down the hill.  Where did I get that idea?  Well, it doesn't matter - the stone was cut without hands, and struck the image.)

Especially take note of verse 44:
And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.

This is like Psalm 2:
1 Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
6 “Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”

Numbers 14:21 says:
but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord—

And Habakkuk 2:14 says nearly the same thing:
For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
As the waters cover the sea.

In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said:
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Upon Peter?  It doesn't matter to me.  The end result is total victory for Jesus and His kingdom.

And He shall reign forever and ever.  End of story.

So yet again we see the importance of focusing on the Lord God and His truth.

Larry Carroll

Scripture above is from the New King James Version