Deeper Truths for Hungry Hearts

January  2012 • Volume X Number 05

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Thoughts for Consideration

Greetings again my Brethren.  This month we shall look at one of the most troubling emotions of God, His hate. Now many Christians do not believe God hates, well to believe this you have denied a part of God’s attributes and ability to work in our lives.  I will be honest I am amazed at those Christians who ignore those Scriptures in the Bible that talk of God hating. Not agreeing with God or His word is yet another way of exposing one’s rebellion and disobedience and yes when we say God does not hate we try to make God out to be a liar.  Yes God is love (we will see this next month), but there is a holy side to God to where He hates evil, man’s foolishness arrogance, pride, his religious traditions and rituals, and so much more.  When we look at God hating it always revolves around man’s character.  Did you know God is more concerned about our character than our ability to do things for Him or our service and dedication to Him?  God’s number one focus in our lives is HOW we do things not WHAT we do.  I wonder why we think God is more concerned about what we can do for Him than what we can become in Him?  I think it is because working for Him is much easier than becoming something in Him becoming like His nature and character.  And if we think God does not hate we will never allow God to change those things in us that needs to be changed so that we can look like Him and be as His children.

In Amos we read, “I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. 22Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.  23Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.”  (Amos 5:21-23)  God not only hates, but He despises our religious ways and rituals, those things that we use to try to get us to His heart, like cerebral knowledge of God, self-seeking music where we are the center, service for gain, giving to get, all of those things that leave us short of His heart and His glory.  In the Psalms God goes after our character, “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”  (Psalms 5:5)  God calls us a fool and says He hates those who work iniquity or lawlessness; working outside the framework of the way God has ordained things to be done.  God hates those people who do things (even for Him) outside the format and process God has put in place.  And who could forget the Seven deadly sins:  “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  17A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,  18An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16-19) All seven are character issues. Remember at the heart of every issue is always an issue of our and I will add our heart character. Again in Proverbs something like the deadly sins we read where God hates evil, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”  (Proverbs 8:13)  It is the “fear of the LORD” that keeps us from committing these sins.  Now my friend when the Bible says “fear” it means just that “fear” where we tremble and cower before the LORD because we are in great danger of being smitten by Him.  I think we need to get back to fearing God, but today we see God as our friend (most often from the music we sing) and not a holy God who means what He says.  We today (me too at times) like to play fast and loose with God, well this only leads to our over familiarity with God and that only breeds contempt.  The thought that God is only a loving old man with a white beard that lives upstairs, instead of a holy God that has established divine spiritual principles for us to strictly follow and be accountable for our actions and words.  Does God hate? Yes He does my friend.

Next month we will look at the opposite of hate God’s love another mysterious and unexplainable emotion of God.


Our Commitments

When we think of the word “commitment” seldom do we think of God.  We are committed to our education, our career, some to their family, our needs and wants, and definitely to our self, but seldom do we think of the importance of our commitments to God. Our commitments are not something we must keep like an appointment or a meeting, but something that keeps us when times are tough and our way is greatly troubled. But please know no man finished a race to win the prize that was not first committed to dedication and discipline. Success in life comes not by chance or the roll of the dice, but by dedicating one’s self to certain principles that will allow them to achieve their goal. I see this principle sorely lacking in the youth of America. What is lacking is not the desire, we all have the desire to want to excel and win, but what is lacking is the commitment to continue and endure beyond the failure and pain. How can we expect to be successful if we make no commitment to anything or anyone? So too in God I see little to no commitment to God and His ways by fellow Christians. What has happened to the commitment made between a man and a woman to love, trust, and obey until death does part? What has happened to the commitment made in relationships of today? A hand shake no longer is good enough to close a deal between two men and we can almost forget about someone keeping their word.  And in God, few people are committed to prayer and reading their Bible. The latest Pew Survey revealed most Christians spend less than five minutes a day in prayer and rarely crack their Bible open during the week. I always measure a church three ways:  sincerely of the people, how they pray corporately, and do the people carry a Bible to service. If not what are these Christians committed to? Fewer people yet are committed to sharing the Gospel message with their neighbors or co-workers maybe this is why America is now ranked 13th in the world (down from 1st in the late 1960s) for sending missionaries abroad to the nations.

Does your neighbour even know you are a Christian? Motivators learned a long time ago we excel and succeed in areas we are committed to. Our success or failure in life, and in God, will be measured not by our abilities, God-given talents, or God-given gifts, but by our commitments. Many of my friends say I have set my expectation too high I need to lower the standard to where most people live, well that is not what Jesus said to do.  I tell them it is not my standard, but God’s.  In Luke Jesus began to establish the commitment standard when He said, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. 11If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit (Strong’s #4100, to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in) to your trust the true riches?  12And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own? 13No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”  (Luke 16:10-13)  Jesus said, if we have not been faithful and just (giving honor, truth, and justice) with unrighteous things, “who will commit the true riches?” In other words, who will give to you the “true (operating in the spiritual realm) riches?” (God’s judgments, peace, mercy, grace, joy) If we are not committed to handling the unrighteous things God gives us (cars, houses, money (mammon), and the like) in Godly ways then who shall give us the spiritual things of God?  The condition to receive the spiritual things from God is to be committed and faithful with handling the non-spirituals things.

We must be committed to God to receive of His benefits and goodness.  When will the church learn to commit its ways to the Lord?  As I look around the world I see the church is committed to almost every earthly social cause (abortion, the fight against homosexually, feeding, clothing, and educating the poor, environmental issues, struggles for unequally and civil rights, and the like) in the world. The church gives its self to every voice that would rise up to protest, organize people against an unjust cause, and even kill people in some cases to have their voices heard all in the name of commitment God, well my friend this is not a commitment to God, but a commitment to wanting to have their voices heard and power felt in the world.  Funny, when Jesus was on the earth He never encouraged the people and especially His disciples to get involved in social causes. Now please do not misunderstand me here, I am not saying we must ignore these issues oh no we must address them in God and hear what His heart is saying.  David said, “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.”  (Psalms 37:5-6)  If (sets the condition to receive from God) we commit our ways to the Lord He will, “bring forth thy righteousness as light and thy judgment as the noonday.” When will we learn God has a better way to do things? “True” commitment is always done from God’s point of view, not ours.  When will we learn real commitment starts when we drop to our knees in repentance and turn from our wicked ways?  Oh Lord please forgive me for not being committed more to You. And please forgive America for her lack of commitment and waywardness to You.  Please turn from Your wrath to come.

In the Book of Hebrews we find an order we must follow in our commitment to God.  Now we must remember the context in which the Book of Hebrews was written. For it is in this context the truth of the Scriptures can clearly be seen.  Before we get into the Book of Hebrews, there is something else we must talk about to be able to come to a “true” place of commitment before God. We must allow God to silence our emotions and feelings so that we can focus on Him. We must allow God, through His dealings and judgments in our lives, to silence and bring our emotions and feelings to naught, if not our emotions and feelings will drive us out of God.  I really see the importance of this the older I get.  The older I get the more I see myself and feel every ache and pain. Things that meant nothing are soon magnified in my imagining into sure disaster for my life.  Oh no we must allow God to kill these emotional thoughts and feelings in our lives.  Now back to Hebrews.  To really get what the Holy Spirit is saying in the Book of Hebrews we must understand the context in which Hebrews was written. The majority of early Christians (A.D. 70 (verses 10:11 and 13:1) were Jews and living near or in Rome.  Apparently they expected Christ to return soon, but the delay in His coming and the great persecution against them (verses 10:32-34) caused them to wonder if they had made the right choice in becoming Christians and possibility returning to Judaism.

Hebrews was written to wavering Christians (sadly like many today) to encourage them to stand fast in their faith and be committed to God and His children.  Here in these verses (10:19-26) we learn some things we must be committed to. Now it is important to notice the order of things we are to be committed to in these verses.  The order of words in the Bible is critical.  The Holy Spirit did not just write the Scriptures any old way, but ordered them in sequence and thought to express a specific meaning and divine spiritual principle. “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;  21And having an high priest over the house of God; 22Let 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. 23Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,”  (Hebrews 10:19-26)

Here in these eight verses are two critical things we must commit our selves to and a warning if we do not.  The first thing we are to commit ourselves to is God, “Let us draw near (understood to mean God) with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” Now that verse has a negative applied meaning, we can draw near to God without a full assurance of faith, but with other things like our emotions, desires, and hunger for selfish personal gain and ambition. In Isaiah we read, “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:” (Isaiah 29:13) In James we learn the requirements to be able to draw near to God.  “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”  (James 4:8-10) I wonder how many Christians today have met these requirements to be able to draw near to God?  I know in my life I lack many of these requirements at times. Please notice we move first, not God. You (the subject of the sentence) “Draw nigh to God and he will draw night to you.” God is always watching and waiting for our commitment to Him.  And the second thing we are to commit ourselves to is the Church. Now please do not think I am talking about a denomination or building. I am talking about the Body of Christ; the people around the world that makes up what we call the Church.  We are to commit our selves to people.

Jesus always made people a priority and they too must be ours.  The writer of Hebrews (I believe to be Paul) said, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:” and in verse 25 we are to “but exhorting (encourage to hold on) one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day (Jesus coming back as He promised) approaching.”  We are to commit our selves to God first then our immediate family, then the Body of Christ. This is the spiritual order God has for us to go.  The beginning of verse 25 talks about “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is;” We lose so much of the truth in the Scriptures when we read verses like this one with our eyes of today.  I do not know how many sermons I have heard where preachers use these words to twist the heart and yoke the people to get them more involved with programs and activities in their church. The early Body of Christ had no building to care for or programs to feed. No water was needed to keep the grass nice and green nor did they have nice comfortable pews or seats to sit on, but met place to place, because of persecution and at threat of death, and assembled themselves when the word was passed. The early Christians in Rome paid a great price for their testimony; some were used at targets for javelin practice, burned alive like Polycarp, or fed to the lions by the Romans, how arrogant we are today to think we are getting better at glorifying God with our ivory towers buildings of brick and wood.  The early Church (group of people) had a simplistic and purity of message and organization. I am afraid we have missed what God wanted from the start with all of our eye candy trappings and worldly programs.  Even in committing our selves to people there is an order.  First our commitment is to be to our family (spouse, sons, and daughters) then our parents and blood brothers and sisters, but if our spouse, sons, daughters, parents, and blood brothers and sisters are not walking with the Lord we are to pray for them, tell them the truth in love, and desire to see them come to the saving  knowledge of the Lord, but hear me loud and clear we must never allow them to cause us to stumble and fall out of the way.

Please let me conclude with the warning, “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” Without a commitment to God and His children we will have no other option or choice, but will “wilfully sin.”  It will not be God’s plan for our lives and here is the bad news, “there remaineth no more sacrifice for (our) sins.” I do not know about you my friend, but this verse really gives me great pause.  Yes, my wonderful Baptist friends, we can lose our salvation if after “we have received the knowledge of the truth” and “we wilfully sin” then “there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.”  We thank God for His grace and mercy.  If we repent and turn from our “willful sin” He will forgive us and again we will be in unity with Him, but if not we will be lost for all eternity no matter what denominational doctrine we believe.  My friend commitment is the key to believing and believing is the key to knowing Jesus died for our sins.  Without commitment to God and His children we will believe in other things and be led out of the way.  Let us commit our ways and heart to God.

Written by David Stahl   



In the 1950’s Nat King Cole sung a nice song called “Smile.” “Smile though your heart is aching, smile even though it’s breaking, when there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by….”  A cute song encouraging us to keep our chin up and smile through our heartaches, now there is nothing wrong with that.  In fact it should be a part of our Christian witness; smiling through tough times. And it’s much more preferable than whining about our hardships. We all will go through something in life that will cause heartache; maybe it’s our family, our health, or maybe our finances. It could be physical, mental, or emotional. Some way, somehow something is going to throw us for a loop and if we can manage not to whine about it and keep a stiff upper lip, great.  My pet peeve and my reason for taking pen to paper are those people that smile―a lot.  I don’t trust anyone who smiles a lot. The overseas Pastors that I’ve met through Dave have lived through great intimidation, their lives and families threatened with bomb threats, humiliation, all while all being entrusted with the care and oversight of poor, needy, and pitiful people and guess what, they don’t go around smiling like the village idiot. People that have been through something painful, people who have allowed God to deal and judge in their lives, those who have had their hearts ripped out don’t smile a lot. Oh they’ll smile some, but there’s no mistaking them for one of our glad handing, flesh pressing, smiling like an idiot politicians. In my humble opinion people who smile a lot (especially Christians):  A. Have not been through a lot and/or B. Have something up their sleeve.  Now if it’s “A” no problem a lot of folks haven’t been through God’s school of hard knocks, but I guarantee you this if you wish to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (2Peter 3:18) you will attend and you won’t be smiling like some good old boy Politician running for re-election.  And if it’s “B” shame shame on you.  Did you know some people whether consciously or unconsciously try to disarm their fellow man by smiling? How can someone do you harm when they’re looking you in the eye and smiling? This is one reason why we are to be led by the Spirit of God. God ain’t fooled by anybody smiling or not, He knows our heart! Please understand I’m not talking about smiling at someone at church or smiling at the cashier at the store. Smiling is good and uplifting. Over the summer we had some special friends from Germany visit their youngest Konrad was about 2 and had the most angelic smile I have ever seen that child’s face just lit up the world. I have never seen such pure joy and happiness before from a little smile. I’m not grousing about this, but I’m talking about those Christians who think they’re so smart,  adorable, and  try to be so charming all the while they are devious and backbiting, out for their own gain and power. In fact we may even wonder about their Christianity. They are merchandising their fellow man, how deceitful and heinous can one be?  Jesus didn’t go around like a glad handing politician oh no. The Bible says, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not, Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” “Isaiah 53: 3-5)  How many of us want to identify with this Jesus? Not too many, especially the slap happy Christian who smile as they slide the knife further into our backs. Oh yeah, our precious Lord and Savior Jesus was just yukking it up. What a grand ole time He had here on earth! A laugh a minute. So, is the servant above his master? I don’t think so.

Did you know there are more Scriptures for mourning than there are for laughing?  “It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance  the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.” (Ecclesiastes 7: 2-4) James admonishes us to, “Be afflicted, and mourn and weep, let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 3: 9-10).  Sobering thoughts indeed. Let’s be real. If you make eye contact with another human smile or grin be friendly, but let’s not go overboard.  If you smile around me rest assured I’ll be thinking hummm is it “A” or “B” and when I get to know you I’ll know for sure. Plod on good people, plod on!

Written by Karen Stahl



1.    In Silistra, Bulgaria Pastor(s) Niki Marsov and Emil Nedelchev.  Times are troubled in Bulgaria and need much prayer.
2.     Constanta, Romania Pastor George Ritisan at Lighthouse Church, and   Ciprian Bozdod at the Mission Bible School.   They too are expanding making more room for God and ministry to Eastern Europe, Turkey, and Asia.
3.    In Suceava, Romania Pastors Nicu and Pastor Marcel at St. Andrews Church.
4.    Pastor Joseph Mutua in Nairobi, Kenya needs your prayer and financial support.
5.    Pastor Mike Olufemi in Aveile,  Nigeria. He needs our prayers and support to be a light in great darkness.
6.    Pastor S. J. Peter, Founder of DAWN Ministries in Hyderabad and Pastor Wilson and his son Pastor Julian in Sankaraguptham, India.
7.     Pastor Metin Mintaz and the members of Uskudar Son Buyruk Kilisesi in Istanbul, Turkey.
8.      Pastor Elieti Msangi in Dar Es Salaam and Pastors Isreal Mutaitina and John Balone in Bukoba, Tanzania.
9.    Monthly financial support Vivian’s Maternity and Child Care Clinic project in Aviele, Nigeria.
10.      Pastor Tek Dahl at Gethsemane, Church (his church) and their radio station “Good News 105.1 FM” in Kathmandu, Nepal.
11.    Bishop John, Samuel Kamanzi (from the Congo), and, Emmanuel Ndolimana in Ruhengeli, Rwanda.


I am still available to share what God has given me at churches and/or home groups.  If God moves on your heart to  support BHG or other ministries we  personally know we would be honored to serve as a go between. Remember, if we want a blessing from God the spiritual principle is we must bless others.  Remember, God is to you what you are to God


David and Karen Stahl
232 Everett Drive
Sneads Ferry, NC 28460

Home: (910) 741-0489
Mobile: (910) 382-9287
FAX: (910) 741-0489

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Beholding His Glory Website

Beholding His Glory Blog

Our latest book, “Thoughts for Consideration” has been published by AuthorHouse, where you can also purchase it online. You can also purchase two of our other books “Adventures with God” and “God Still Performs Miracles: A Book of Personal Encouragement.”

Please take a minute and take a look, they all make for a great encouraging gift, giving hope and sharing God’s love through a deeper teaching that someone can enjoy again and again. All of our books can be purchased at all book stores like Barnes and Nobles, Borders, Book-A-Million, and etc., any Christian Book Store that orders, and all book ordering on-line companies like Or if you are like me from the old school just contact us, we will let you know the price, and then we will mail it out to your home address. Postage and handling is on a case by case basis.

We are projecting to use the royalties for: our maternity clinic in Aveile, Nigeria, radio station in Katmandu, Nepal, TB clinics in Ethiopia, and Lord willing the Bible Schools in Kenya, Rwanda, and the Congo, and to help publish more books. We have five more books at different stages of production. If you know someone you think would enjoy receiving this newsletter or if you receive this newsletter and do not wish to please let me know. Contributions to this ministry is always appreciated and needed the more time continues. Please feel free to contact us with the above information. The cost is great, but the cost for not supporting to others is even greater. And remember, all donations are tax deductible.