Deeper Truths for Hungry Hearts

March 2014 • Volume XII Number 07

“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.  God most certainly has His means to teach us His divine ways.  Last month we looked at a few means and this month we continue by looking at: in need and in the storm. Who would believe God would use such means to teach us His divine ways? Most Christians think God would use a great blessing in our lives, well not so.  I am not sure, but I do not think I know a man or woman who does not have a need in their lives.  Of course the greatest need in our lives is more of the knowledge of God, but God also uses physical and spiritual needs in our lives to draw us closer to Him so that we will come to personally know Him as the only one who can meet our need and our needs in our lives.  In John we read where Jesus used the physical need of hunger to satisfy the spiritual need of a multitude of people. “And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. 3And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. 4And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. 5When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 6And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.”  (John 6:2-6)  Jesus already had a plan to feed the people (see verse 6), but He wanted to teach the disciples more of the ways He operated.  God’s means that teach us of His divine ways are always “proving” or testing us.  Jesus was testing Philip to see what of God had been built in Him over the many days he had walked with the LORD.  So too in lives God proves or approves us always testing us to see if we will follow Him and His ways not to punish us, but to reward us. In Exodus God told Moses,  “Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.”  (Exodus 16:4) The reward here was manna, heavenly bread. And in Deuteronomy again God was talking to Moses, “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.”  (Deuteronomy 8:2)  God led His children 40 years in the wilderness “to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart.”God changes not so too He will lead us to humble, prove, and to see what is in our heart.  Sadly the folks in John 6:14 with a full belly only saw Jesus as a prophet,

“This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.”And not the Christ the Son of God. When we allow God to approve us we will have the right revelation.

Storms and conflicts in our lives can last for minutes, days, even years, but make no mistake storm and conflicts are the greatest means God uses in our lives. Troubles in our lives makes for great teachers.  In Mark we find the disciples right after a mighty miracle launching out into the deep with the LORD. “And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 37And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?”  (Mark 4:36-40)  From the start even before the storm (back in verse 35) Jesus told them they were crossing over to the other side how safe is that? Even if the ship that the disciples were in sank they could have gotten picked up by another ship that was in the flotilla crossing over.  Well they had to wake up Jesus to take care of the situation. They were afraid the storm was raging, but the fear was not from the waves and the wind, but from their lack of trust. Jesus had to calm the physical elements so that the disciples could get their emotions in check, so too in our lives.  God often will use physical means that affect our spiritual understanding.  Many Christians quote, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (1 Timothy 1:7) And “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”  (1 Corinthians 14:33) well I am here to tell you God is the author of confusion; God creates all things (see Isaiah 45:5-7) and serve Him long enough and you will feel fear in the pit of your stomach like being hit by a  sledge hammer. The fear is from the word that the LORD speaks to us that threatens our self-life.  Our self-life rises up to reject God’s word in disobedience.  I have felt it many times. When I started to travel many years ago I would feel it when God spoke to me, but now it seems I feel it after I buy my ticket, now I have some skin in the game.  God will use fear to prove us and to see what is really in our heart.

Next month we will look at two other means, in conflict and by private teaching. Who would ever think conflict to be a teacher? Do you hear Him now?


Exposing Darkness Within

When Jesus told the disciples and the crowd that followed Him, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  (Matthew 5:13-16) They could not believe their ears, they were horrified. They thought Jesus was speaking heresy. Like when Jesus told the disciples, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father (Abba Father, Strong’s #5 in the Greek) which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” (Matthew 6:9)  “Abba Father” is the customary title and literally means direct address when praying to God. Jesus told the disciples to pray directly to the Father and they could not believe their ears, because in the past they prayed “Avie Father” or around through to the Father.  This is where we get the song Avie Maria.  But here Jesus said, “Ye are the light of the world” a title reserved for only the High Priest and some of Sadducees and Pharisees.  The people could not believe their ears.  Can you imagine Jesus was making the common folks equal to the High Priest?  Can you imagine the reaction the High Priest had when he heard Jesus’ words? Jesus was doing nothing, but exposing the darkness in the lie of only the High Priest and his henchmen being the “light of the world.” We all can (our choice) be the “light of the world” if we have the darkness exposed in our lives. Funny how having the darkness exposed in our lives is the condition to becoming the “light of the world.”  But, who wants to have their darkness exposed?  I will be honest not me, but this is the price we all must pay to be the “light of the world.”  Never forget, we know the real price after we finish paying for it. In God paying the price for things are very expensive, this is why many would rather be an actor speaking great swelling words on the stage of life than to have their darkness exposed. Unless we allow God to search our hearts and expose areas of darkness within us (individually) that are not of Him (so they can be removed) we will continue to walk in our darkness and know not God.  The condition to know God is to allow Him to open up our heart and reveal how much we are not like His precious Son Jesus Christ.  But who wants to do this?  Most people (often me at times) like the darkness within and run from God shining His holy light on us to expose us for what and who we really are.

As we look at the magical complexity like qualities of light as it plays against the backdrop of darkness it holds a very vivid and powerful physical lesson that is often extrapolated into the spiritual realm.  Did you know there are 129 occurrences in 55 verses that pit light against darkness?  Now it is important to know the Bible is not talking about the absence of the physical property of light which is darkness in these 55 verses.  I cannot tell you how many sermons I have heard using these properties (light and darkness) to make a moral or religious point. When we read these verses they make good common sense, but if you prayerfully read these verses you will know the Holy Spirit is talking about righteousness and God’s work in our lives (as light) and sin and an unrepentive heart condition (as darkness).  If we walk with the Lord for any length of time and allow God to work in our lives His work in us will be deposited, it will be written on the tablets of our heart and mind. But if we wilfully walk away from God the first thing we lose is the work God has been able to do in our lives. The work God has done in our lives serves as belts and suspenders to keep us along with His grace and mercy. We are not saved by this work it is grace alone, but it acts as glue to bind us together. The work of God in our lives is what brings us all into the unity of the faith, all hearts being dealt with by God the same. Having a prayer breakfast, joint church service or social pot-luck dinners will never bring us into the unity of the faith, but I promise you if we all collectively open our hearts and lives to God’s dealing and judgments (at the same measure) we will have no option because our humbling and submission bring us into the unity of the faith with God and man.  It is the memories of my failures and victories towards my wife that keeps the dedication and commitment of my word to her alive in my heart.  I am sorry to say my Baptist friends we are the only person who can take us out of God’s hand by turning our back and wilfully walking away from God’s invitation of mercy and grace.  The Bible is full of examples. To teach otherwise is just plain wrong and in the end many people will be left deceived and undone on judgment day.  I would not want to stand before God knowing I have caused “err” (intentionally leading someone into error) in even one life.

Paul in the Book of Ephesians shares with us the intent of God’s heart as it relates to light and darkness, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (Strong’s #1651, to convict, refute, confute generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted) them. 12For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.”  (Ephesians 5:8-13)  In the NKJV of the Bible Paul tells us to “expose them.” We as the Body of Christ seldom do this, expose darkness.  But how will those in darkness know they are in darkness?  How will they hear of the conviction or experience the shame of sin if we do not tell them of their need for Christ?  I have been told not to confront sin, just pray for and love them. Well my friend that is not what Paul told the New Testament Church to do, “but rather reprove them.” In all of Paul’s life he did not mince words, oh no he told the truth up close and personal.  But today we compromise and placate sin in the church and in the lives of friends and family members not wanting to offend so that we will have large crowds in our churches and full offering plates.  When will we learn (or will we?) this is just plain wrong in God’s eyes? Well, Paul was not concerned about such things, he was concerned about telling people the truth of God’s words so that they will be able to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

We sing songs like, “When We All Get to Heaven” what a day of rejoicing that will be.  We sing songs that speak of a wonderful time in heaven, are you kidding?  I am not looking forward to standing before a Holy God.  I hear many Christians say they are, well I am afraid their words reveals their presumption and immaturity.  I do not know about you, but I do not believe at first heaven is going to be such a wonderful place.  First we must get through the Judgment Seat of Christ.  We sing songs about no tears in heaven, but the Bible says in heaven God will wipe away all tears, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”  (Revelation 21:4).  Maybe these tears God will wipe away will be the tears we shed for the loss we will experience in heaven for our disobedience on earth. Disobedience must always be judged by God no matter where we are.  Oh our sins will be forgiven and we get to go to heaven, but we will come to know all our idle and wasted opportunities, words, and time in our prior life on earth and it will humble us and bring us to tears.  After all who wants to see their hard work, big church and ministry built in their life burned up by fire? Remember it is not what we do for God that counts, but how we do things.  Have they been done for the right reasons and were our motives right? Were they done with the right heart condition? Or maybe there will be tears shed knowing family members, relatives, and friends on earth did not make it to heaven. I do not know about you, but I have family members who are not saved.  This dichotomy of light and darkness that Paul talks about I find myself wrestling within my heart, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?”  (2 Corinthians 6:14)  Now Paul is not just talking about marriage here, but all of our life relationships we enter into. How I would love to see my family come back to Christ, but that is their choice and until then my fellowship and communion with them can only be limited. If God and His ways are not the focal point of our relationships then we really have nothing in common.  We may have and love the same parents who did their best to raise us all in God, but that is where any true fellowship or communion ends. Did you know silence about sin is almost always viewed as compliance of sin?  We must never be silent when it comes to sin, we must tell the truth in love. With my family, until there is a change in their heart we will be there for them, we will prayer for them, but our distance from them will speak volumes of the separation between us and the darkness within them.  Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:34-37) Jesus has come to cut us and our affections out of the world and if our family is a part of the world, sadly they must go from our heart.  Jesus said, “either you are for Me or you are against Me” He meant it, there is no middle ground. However, I would still think it would be very difficult to spend eternity in heaven knowing my family members are in hell.  I think I would probably shed tears knowing this. To think we will not know or be concerned about our family members in hell for all of eternity does not pass the Bible common sense test and is just pure self-centered and selfish thinking on our part.

Lastly this exposing darkness within us is seen in two divine spiritual principles; humility comes before exaltation as death come before glorification. If we desire to be exalted in life and in God then humility must be the beginning point of our assent to Him and what He has for us.  We must decrease in our self-worth and thoughts so we can see the darkness within us. The way up is really down.  Down is the direction of the revelation of who and what we really are.  It is no wonder few Christians want to become like Christ, “meek and lowly of heart” this revelation my friend will kill us.  And death before glorification.  This is the central point of the Gospel.  Death always precedes any thing God does in our lives.  In every victory failure must be present.  There is no victory without failure, so too death to the love we hold for the things of this world in us and our selfish and self-seeking desires must be killed in us before God can glorify us.  Wait a minute, why do we think God has to always be blessing and glorifying us?  He is God!  He makes the rain fall on the just and the unjust.  He gets to do whatever He wants to do. He is God!  God delights in the death of His saints, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”  (Psalms 116:15).  It is our death in God where newness of life in God is found.  Paul told the church at Rome, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:” (Romans 6:3-5) No death no resurrection and newness of life.  No death no glorification.  Did you know God also delights in the opportunity to open our heart to us so that we can see what we are made of and how much we are not like Him. This exposing darkness within us is the bedrock of our faith.  Accepting Christ comes out of us first seeing our need for Him and when we see our need for Him we also see the darkness within us.

Written by David Stahl


Don’t Look Back

I’ve heard the story of Lot since I was a youngster and never heard an explanation (that made much sense) as to why Lot’s wife looked back to the city of Sodom when they were running for their lives. I read the story recently and it was obvious – they left other daughters and (possibly) sons behind. The angel said specifically, “Has thou here any besides? Son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place.” (Genesis 19:12) Lot and his wife left Sodom with only two daughters, the rest of their children stayed behind in Sodom. The angel commanded Lot, “look not behind thee neither stay thou in all the plain escape to the mountain lest thou be consumed.” (Genesis 19:17)  Lot had told his son in laws to go with him out of the city so perhaps there was a slight chance the son in laws could’ve followed once the brimstone started hitting the city. Perhaps Lot’s wife was hoping that the rest of her children would follow them and be saved from the destruction to come. Truthfully I would’ve been tempted to turn around and look for my kids also or maybe hog tie them and drag them with us. How could a parent knowing the city was going to be destroyed not yearn for all their children to flee to safety? Herein is where we Christians must at times harden our hearts. If our kids chose to disobey God and go their own pernicious ways and after we’ve done all, said all, and they still give God the cold shoulder then we leave them alone.  Did you know there are some people we cannot hang around and serve the LORD?  Yes even our own children.  For when we totally take our hands off our kids, GOD can work.  It will hurt, no one wants to reject their own flesh and blood, but for the sake of their souls we must. GOD will do what He can and orchestrate situations in the lives of our kids to get them on track and see the error of their ways. BUT it won’t be easy. So resist the urge to rescue your kids. Pray for them, be there for them when the walls come crashing down, and when repentance is in the wings. God loves our kids more than we do so sometimes we just have to back out of their lives and let GOD have at ‘em. Why should our kids change when they know mommy and daddy love them unconditionally and are always there to pick them up when they fall? If our kid’s lifestyle is immoral tell them the truth (in love) and get out of the way God knows how to deal with our kids. And shame on us if we don’t believe GOD can take care of our kids, friends, and relatives bringing them to salvation. And shame on us if we think for one lousy second that no one loves our kids like we do. Mule muffins! GOD does. Yes it will get tough on your kids when you back out of their lives. But whose hands will they be in? GOD’s hands. Let GOD work. If you love your kids and want them to be saved let GOD work on them. They will fail and may hit rock bottom. God may have to take them through hell to get them to heaven, but in the end they are with Him in heaven. If it saves their soul so be it. God knows most of us would do anything for our kids even to the detriment of our own souls, but our faith in God MUST be greater than our love for our family. If we can’t give our kids over to GOD we are in essence saying “God I know better than you.”  Are we crazy? We know better than the Almighty GOD and Creator of the universe. Really?

I met a sweet little lady who told me about her special needs son who had lived with her his entire life and as she got older she realized that he would have to stay elsewhere. As much as it ripped her heart out to do it she found a nice place for him to live.  Now he is happy, content, and proud to call his place home. She can rest easy knowing when her time comes to go home (to Heaven) he will be taken care of. She trusted God. Look I know it goes against our nature to let go of our kids when they stray, but if anything, we want to hold on tighter.  As with a lot of things in God we need to let go and trust HIM and go against our nature. A “certain man” maybe us said, “Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 58And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. 59And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. 61And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57-62) Later in Luke Jesus again made this critical point, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”  (Luke 14:26-27)  Did you get that “cannot be my disciple.”  I guess Jesus means it.  Question:  is your faith in GOD greater than your love for family? We must be obedient to God and don’t look back.

Written by Karen Stahl


1.    In Silistra, Bulgaria Pastor(s) Niki Marsov and Emil Nedelchev. Included now are missionaries from Romania Nicu and Elena. Times are troubled in Bulgaria much prayer and support is needed.
2.    Constanta, Romania Pastors Luke and Jacob at Bethel Church and George Ritisan at the Romanian Center for Cross-cultural Studies Bible School  and the Faru (Lighthouse) Church.
3.   In Suceava, Romania Pastors Nicu and Marcel at St. Andrews Church. They are still standing by God’s grace.
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, Dan, Cathy, and 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 for 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.

Next Home Group Meeting:

Our next Home Group Meeting will be 25 March 2014
232 Everett Drive
Sneads Ferry, NC  28460
Home:    (910) 741-0489
at 7:00 pm, please RSVP


March:  Local ministry
April: Local ministry
May: Ethiopia

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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Personal E-mail:

Beholding His Glory Website

Beholding His Glory Blog

The AuthorHouse link below will lead you to our latest book, “Thoughts for Consideration.” Just copy it into your web browser and return. Also you can 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.

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.