Tuesday, December 31, 2013

How to Persuade Unbelievers.

http://www.dsmedia.org/resources/illustrations/sweet-publishing

"But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness; but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
1 Corinthians 1:23-25

Charles Kingsley writes about this verse:

Know, that when all your arguments and philosophies have failed to teach men what they ought to do, one earnest penitent look at Christ upon his cross will teach them. That their hearts will leap up in answer, and cry, "If this be God, I can believe in him. If this be God, I can trust him. If this be God, I can obey him."

That one look at Christ upon his cross will make them  - what you could never make them - a new man, filled with a new thought; the thought that God is love, and that he who dwells in love, dwells in God and he in them.

Paul said, "And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified."
1 Corinthians 2:1-2


After I had my first child, I began reading the Bible and praying. Later, I went to an evangelistic meeting with my mother and grandmother. I enjoyed all the sermons on prophecy and the Ten Commandments. But one night the preacher explained the sacrifice Jesus made on the Cross. I felt amazed by the love of God for me and I felt love for Him; that was the night I walked down the aisle to give my life to God and was later baptized. The story of the cross is what saved me.




Monday, December 30, 2013

Three Things to be Thankful For in Suffering.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. My grandson was missed again this year, but we did have a Christmas full of love and joy. When someone you love so much is gone life is never the same; but you can rejoice in knowing you will see them again one day in heaven.


Hummingbird photo by: Mdf, Edited by Laitche  



Jeff Miller, preaching on Philippians 1:1-12 speaks of how there are three things to be grateful for when we are suffering.   https://bible.org/series/contradicting-hardship-philippians This got me to thinking how I feel about these three kinds of gratitude.

1. We can be grateful for God.

We have a God who is kind, loving, forgiving, strong, wise, just and creative. How blessed it is to have such a God. Imagine the gods of the pagans; gods who were cruel and had to be bribed with gifts and sometimes the death of children. I'm so grateful our God is the opposite of the pagan gods. He is the God who made the galaxies and also a hummingbird. An amazing God, and how fortunate we are to have him.

2. We can be grateful for others.

I'm so grateful for my family. We are not a perfect family. We have differing opinions and sometimes there is conflict, but we love each other and we are there for each other. If you have no family, you may have friends you can count on. Perhaps you have no family and maybe no friends. Ask God to send someone into your life and he will. Even if there is only one person we can talk with and be ourselves with, that is something to be grateful for.

3. We can be grateful for the gospel.

I take the word "gospel" as meaning the good news of salvation because of what Jesus has done for me in dying on the cross. The story of redemption actually started in the Garden of Eden and continues on for eternity. I'm so grateful for the gospel. I'm so grateful God loved us enough to suffer and die for us and give us all a chance to live with him forever.

   

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

October - December

Hello Everyone. These three months seem to be hard for me. In Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving in October; November 20 is my grandson Craig's birthday; December is Christmas.

My grandson died two years ago in August. I still find the holidays a difficult time. Without even knowing why, I start dragging myself around the house feeling sad, and then I remember what time of year it is. I would guess that is the reason I'm feeling pretty down.

Anyway, I guess I'll take a break until the new year. I write this blog in hopes I can help someone give God a chance in their lives. I can't imagine my life without Him and I can't imagine a future with no hope of eternal life. I hope everyone who visits has a beautiful Christmas. I have six other grandchildren and two daughters who will make my Christmas happy. God bless.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

He is Greater.

If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 
John 3:20

I love this verse because I used to have a condemning heart. I felt guilt over every little thing I may have done wrong. Believe me, that is no way to live! God doesn't want us to go around feeling guilty and condemned. Now, I just say I'm sorry, know God forgives me and forget it.

God is greater than our hearts.

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4


Do you have bad thoughts? We all do. When I have negative thoughts I quote scripture out loud. God is greater than Satan, who is the author of evil thoughts. God's words drive Satan away.

God is greater than Satan.


But I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. Matthew 12:6

Has church disappointed you?

 God is greater than any church.

The men of Nineveh will stand up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, someone greater than Jonah is here. Matthew 12:41

God is greater than any prophet.

Matthew 12:42 The queen of the south will rise up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, someone greater than Solomon is here.

God is greater than the wisest man on earth.

For the LORD is a great God, a great King above all godsIn his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.  Psalm 95




Sunday, November 24, 2013

God of Thunder.

John 12:20-33
 "Now there were some Greeks among those who were going up to worship Jesus; these then came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."

Philip is a Greek name and so naturally the Greeks would come to Philip to ask about Jesus. It is probable he spoke the Greek language.

Philip came and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip came and told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds."

As the Greeks were coming to see Jesus, he spoke of how his death was like a seed which would produce many other seeds. These Greeks were evidence of people other than the Jews who would come to him for salvation. 

Then he said,
"Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, 'Father, save me from this hour'? But this is the very reason I came! Father, glorify your name!' Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again."

The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."  He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

I believe that the voice of God thundered while the Greeks were standing by because this would be sure evidence to them that Jesus was God, for their chief God was a God of thunder. 

Zeus is the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeus 

I read once of a tribe in Africa who heard the gospel but didn't really believe until they heard the story of Jesus spitting on the dirt and healing a man's eyes. In their culture, spittle was considered a healing medicine. When they heard Jesus also used spitting, they believed.

What also moves me in this Bible passage are the words, "Now is my soul deeply troubled." I feel so sorry for Jesus, having to go through what he went through for us. He knew he would soon be arrested, tortured and nailed to a cross. Perhaps these Greeks saw him on the cross as the day turned dark with clouds.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What is Repentance?

What is repentance? 

The term shubh, is most generally employed to express the Scriptural idea of genuine repentance. It is used extensively by the prophets, and makes prominent the idea of a radical change in one's attitude toward sin and God. It implies a conscious, moral separation, and a personal decision to forsake sin and to enter into fellowship with God. It is employed extensively with reference to man's turning away from sin to righteousness.
http://biblehub.com/topical/r/repentance.htm

"In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matthew 3:1,2

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:5,6

"So the disciples went out, telling everyone they met to repent of their sins and turn to God." mark 6:12

As these verses show, repentance was the theme of John, Jesus and his disciples.

Jesus also said, "I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance." Luke 5:32
He didn't come to call those who thought they were good and doing alright. These people don't think they need to repent so how could they answer the call?  

"Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? "I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." Luke 13:5

If we never repent of our sins - we will not be saved. We will perish, Jesus says. Not that he wants us to, but we will not be safe to take to heaven for we will not be one with God and we will bring a love of sin to heaven with us.

"Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O people of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.”Ezekiel 18:32

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

True & Better.



I first saw a link to this video on a blog called: Been Thinking, by Mart De Haan. I thought it was so wonderful I wanted to share it here.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Joy in the Paths of God.

Valley in Europe



"How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion! Passing through the Valley of Weeping they make it a spring; The early rain also covers it with blessings. They go from strength to strength, Every one of them appears before God in Zion."
Psalm 84:5

When I read the Psalms, I put myself in them. I will admit, I don't put myself in the parts about vengance or enemies. But the happy parts of the Psalms help me so much.

I do feel happy I can go to God for strength. I need his strength so badly. Life would just be too much for me without Him.

In my heart is a highway to Zion. I long for heaven - to me it feels like that is my real, true life. 

I have passed through the Valley of Weeping. God does make the rain into refreshing springs. I'm sure there will be more weeping before I die or Jesus returns, but I trust in the Lord to refresh me and dry my tears.

I do go from strength to strength. As long as I live for God, he will lead me higher and higher. My faith will get stronger as I know him more.

One day I will appear before God in Zion! What a wonderous and beautiful thought. Thank you God for the hope of glory you have offered to all people. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Rechabites.

"This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, 'Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?' declares the LORD. Jehonadab son of Rekab ordered his descendants not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather's command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me.

Again and again I sent all my servants the prophets to you. They said, "Each of you must turn from your wicked ways and reform your actions; do not follow other gods to serve them. Then you will live in the land I have given to you and your ancestors." But you have not paid attention or listened to me.

The descendants of Jehonadab son of Rekab have carried out the command their forefather gave them, but these people have not obeyed me.' Then Jeremiah said to the family of the Rekabites, "This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'You have obeyed the command of your forefather Jehonadab and have followed all his instructions and have done everything he ordered.' Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'Jehonadab son of Rekab will never fail to have a descendant to serve me.'"   Jeremiah 35:13


Rechabites are the descendants of Rechab through Jonadab or Jehonadab. They belonged to the Kenites who accompanied the children of Israel into the holy land, and dwelt among them. Moses married a Kenite wife, and Jael was the wife of "Heber the Kenite". Saul also showed kindness to the Kenites. The main body of the Kenites dwelt in cities, and adopted settled habits of life; but Jehonadab forbade his descendants to drink wine or to live in cities. They were commanded to lead always a nomad life. They adhered to the law laid down by Jonadab, and were noted for their fidelity to the old-established custom of their family in the days of Jeremiah; and this feature of their character is referred to by God for the purpose of giving point to his message to Judah.
In 1839 the Reverend Joseph Wolff, who later went to Bokhara to attempt to save Lieutenant Colonel Charles Stoddart and Captain Arthur Conolly, found inYemen, near Sana'a, a tribe claiming to be descendants of Jehonadab; and in the late nineteenth century a Bedouin tribe was found near the Dead Sea who also professed to be descendants of Jehonadab.     

God compares the actions of the Rechabites to the Jews. They obeyed their earthly father but Israel would not obey their God. God then recognizes and rewards the Rechabites and tells them they will always have descendants to worship him. God appreciates the attitude of these people and praises them before all Israel. May we all be like them in obedience to God.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hard Hearts.

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26

One day Jesus was in the synagogue when a man walked in who had a diseased hand. Jesus asked the man to stand up and he then asked the asked the leaders of the church, "Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days or to do evil? To save life, or to kill?" But they didn't answer him.

Jesus looked on them with "...anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts." He then healed the man and the Pharisees took counsel with the Herodians on how they might kill Jesus. Mark 3:1-6

",,,this is a heart hardened by sin, and confirmed in it; destitute of spiritual life and motion; senseless and stupid, stubborn and inflexible; on which no impressions are made; and which remains hard and impenitent: now this is in "the flesh", in corrupt nature; and this hardness of heart is natural to men; and all who have it are after the flesh, or are carnal; and it requires omnipotence to remove it; it cannot be taken out by men of themselves: nor by ministers of the word; nor by the bare mercies and judgments of God; but by the powerful and efficacious grace of God; giving repentance unto life; working faith in the soul, to look to a crucified Christ; and shedding abroad the love of God in the heart, which softens and melts it; all which is done by the Spirit, and frequently by means of the word."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Jesus was grieved (heartache, sorrow, sad) and angry (offended, indignant) at the response of the Pharisees. I like the way the Pulpit Commentary explains Jesus' anger.

He looked round about on them with anger. He was indignant at their blindness of heart, and their unbelief, which led them to attack the miracles of mercy wrought by him on the Sabbath day as though they were a violation of the law of the Sabbath. We see here how plainly there were in Christ the passions and affections common to the human nature, only restrained and subordinated to reason. Hero is the difference between the anger of fallen man and the anger of the sinless One. With fallen man, auger is the desire of retaliating, of punishing those by whom you consider yourself unjustly treated. Hence, in other men, anger springs from self-love; in Christ it sprang from the love of God. He loved God above all things; hence he was distressed and irritated on account of the wrongs done to God by sins and sinners. So that his anger was a righteous zeal for the honour of God; and hence it was mingled with grief, because, in their blindness and obstinacy, they would not acknowledge him to be the Messiah, but misrepresented his kindnesses wrought on the sick on the sabbath day, and found fault with them as evil. Thus our Lord, by showing grief and sorrow, makes it plain that his anger did not spring from the desire of revenge. He was indeed angry at the sin, while he grieved over and with the sinners, as those whom he loved, and for whose sake he came into the world that he might redeem and save them. 
Pulpit Commentary

I remember when I was a young woman and first read Ezekiel 36:26. I started praying God would take my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh. This verse still comes to me and I still pray for a soft heart. I know I need a new heart from God every day or my soft heart will harden.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pure Religion.

"A religion that is pure and stainless according to God the Father is this: to take care of orphans and widows who are suffering, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." James 1:27

Orphans and widows were the neediest people in ancient times. They had no man to provide for them and if their families did not help then they would be in real trouble. 

"With minimal, if any, inheritance rights, she was often in a "no-man's land." She had left her family, and with her husband's death the bond between her and his family was tenuous. ...Nonetheless, the loss of a husband in ancient Israel was normally a social and economic tragedy. In a generally patriarchal culture, the death of a husband usually meant a type of cultural death as well. Although the denotation of widow referred to a woman whose husband had died, because of the social context the word quickly acquired the connotation of a person living a marginal existence in extreme poverty.
http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/widow.html

Our belief in God should move us to help the suffering and needy wherever we see them. There are many agencies where we can donate money to help the poor.

...to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction; and not only to see them, and speak a word of comfort to them, but to communicate to them, and supply their wants, as they may require, and according to the ability God has given: where there is true religion in the heart, there is love to God; and where there is love to God, there is love to the saints; and this will show itself to them, in times of affliction and distress; and where this is wanting, religion itself is not pure and undefiled.

...and to keep himself unspotted from the world: from the men of the world, who defile by their evil communications; and "from the vices of the world", as the Arabic version renders it, which are of a defiling nature; and, where religion is in its power and purity, and the Gospel of the grace of God comes with efficacy, it teaches to separate from the rest of the world, and to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly.

I do feel "spotted" or defiled by evil communications, as Gill wrote. I got a biography from the library but the author used Jesus name as a swear word and I felt bad so quit reading it. If I watched a TV show and the jokes were about sex, I felt defiled. People hopping in and out of bed is so common on TV now and that left me feeling defiled. Also, if there was a bad guy in a show then I was hoping someone would shoot him! Yep, I'm giving up on TV.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Barnabas

I recently read an article about Barnabas which made me appreciate him.

 We first meet Barnabas in Acts 4:36 - "Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means "son of encouragement")."

As Jesus renamed Simon to Peter, the apostles changed Joseph's name to Barnabas. He must have been a great encouragement to all since that is the meaning of his new name.

His first action we read about is that he sold a field which he owned and brought the money and laid it at the apostle's feet.

When Saul was converted, he went to Jerusalem to meet the believers, "When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple." 

But one person did believe Saul: Barnabas. "But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus." Acts 9:27 And what was the result? "So Saul stayed with the apostles and went all around Jerusalem with them, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord."

Barnabas was an encouragement to Saul and helped him be accepted into the church he once persecuted. Without him, Saul would have been turned away.

Some Christians had gone to Antioch and preached Jesus. Many believed, and the church sent Barnabas to investigate. "When the church at Jerusalem heard what had happened, they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord." Acts 11.

"Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch."

He went with Paul to Jerusalem, taking with them gifts of money to help the poor and hungry there. Acts 11:30 He became a missionary with Paul by God's command: One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them." Acts 13:2

Along with Paul, Barnabas did not make his living from the church. They earned their own money making tents. "Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working?" 1Corinthians 9:6

On another missionary trip, Barnabas wanted to take Mark with them but:
"Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord." Acts 15:38-40


Barnabas wanted to give Mark another chance to work for the Lord. Just as he couldn't turn Saul away, he couldn't turn his back on Mark. Paul disagreed, so Barnabas, a "son of encouragement" left Paul and  went with Mark. And this Mark is the one who later wrote one of the gospels in the New Testament. 

From the article and Bible study, I learned how important Barnabas was to the new church. I love his character, his vitality, his willingness to help Paul and Mark. He was called by God "a good man, full of the Holy Spirit." Wow. What a wonderful thing for God to say about you!


Thursday, November 7, 2013

The More You Hear - The More You Grow.

Jesus said, "Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given--and you will receive even more. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them."  Mark 4:24-25

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Take heed what you hear: diligently attend to it, seek to understand it, and lay it up in your minds and memories, that it may be of use to you in time to come, and you may be useful in communicating it to others. 
"With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured unto you"; a common proverb among the Jews, used on various occasions, and to different purposes; See Gill on Matthew 7:2. Here it seems to intimate, that if the disciples carefully hearkened to what they heard from Christ, and studiously labored to understand it, and faithfully dispensed it to others, in return, a larger measure, and greater degree of spiritual knowledge, would be bestowed upon them: for it follows, and 
"...unto you that hear, shall more be given"; that is, that hear so as to understand, keep, and make a good use of what they hear, more shall be communicated to them; they shall have an increase of knowledge in the doctrines of grace, and mysteries of the Gospel. 

What do we hear? What do we listen to? Compare the hours you spend watching TV to spending with God in study and prayer. Who wins? 

For me it was the TV. But I heard a sermon by Jeff Miller  https://bible.org/byauthor/25/jeff_miller . He said the disciples gave up everything to follow Jesus. Everything. Then Jim asked, "What does God want you to give up? He asks everyone to give up something." I thought and prayed about it and felt that television was something i should not watch unless it was a nature show or documentary etc. I've been watching shows that have violence and sex in them. I figured it was wrong, but I didn't think it was a big deal until last night. I was convicted these shows were bad for me. My family watches these shows together - so I'll be on the outside - but that's okay.

My sister says she will play a few games with me each evening and that will be great. She understands why I'm giving up on fiction shows. I have been spending more time with God lately and this will give me even more time. Naturally, I have some favorite shows to turn away from, but I know God will fill the void with great and good things.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Wake Up, Johah!

The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: "Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are."

But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the LORD. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the LORD by sailing to Tarshish.

Sermons on Biblical Characters
by Clovis G. Chappell

"So Jonah turned his back on his duty and turned his back on God. He took a ship bound for Tarshish and went to sleep. Surely his situation is critical indeed. But though he as forgotten God, God, in his mercy, has not forgotten him. God still loves Jonah, still longs for him and still hopes for him. And so in mercy God sends a storm after him. That was dangerous cargo the ship had on board. Better to have been gasoline or TNT than a rebellious prophet.

"Let us thank God for the storms that rouse us, that wake us up, that keep us from sleeping our way into the pit. May the Lord send us any kind of storm rather than allow us to fling ourselves eternally away from his presence. I am so glad God will never allow a man to go comfortably and peacefully to eternal death. He never allows any man to be lost until he has done his best to save him."

It is hard to be thankful for the storms in our lives - but it is these storms that either bring us to God or keep us close to God. So, I'm thankful for the storms.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Do Not Be Wise in Your Own Eyes - Proverbs 3:7


"For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." Matthew 23:12


Humility

by S. Baring-Gould M.A.

Isaiah, Ezekiel and the apostle John saw in vision the glory of heaven and the throne of God and near it there were four beasts "full of eyes within and without" - Revelation 4:8. That is to say the beasts saw all that was within them as well as all that was outside them.

We are full of eyes without. We see everything that is going on among our neighbors and a great deal which is not there also, but we have no eyes for seeing anything within. We know nothing of ourselves, our own faults, and our own errors.

We see every wrong thing done by a neighbor, we have eyes for this, but we see no wrong done by ourselves. We have no eyes for that.

We see all the weakness of others, we have eyes for this, but we see none of our own weakness. We have no eyes for that.

We see all the folly of others, we have eyes for this, but for our own stupid acts and words we are blind. We have no eyes for that.

It would be better if we were well supplied with eyes within, instead of so many eyes without. It would be better for our neighbors and it would be better for ourselves. 

In the gospel, we hear of the chief Pharisees watching Christ. They had eyes for that. They watched him to find something against him. But they themselves were hypocrites and perverters of the law and they didn't know. They had no eyes for this. End.

Let us ask God to put our eyes on ourselves and then on Him. May we all be humble when it comes to what we are.
 "I say to the LORD, "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing." Psalm 16:2 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Spreading the Gospel in England.

The Village Pulpit
by, S. Baring-Gould M.A.

"In the time when all the north of England was heathen, there was an assembly held at Iona to decide who should preach the gospel to the English of Northumbria. One missionary was sent, and after having labored for some years, he came back to give an account of his mission. A council was held and he said, "Those Northumbrians are a stiff-necked, hard-hearted people. I threatened them with God's wrath, I spoke to them of Hell-fire, I warned them of the terrors of judgment, I denounced the vengence of God on them and they would not be converted."

One sitting in a back seat said, "My brother, it seems to me you went the wrong way to work. You should have gone in love and not in wrath. You should have tried to win and not to drive." All eyes turned on the speaker and it was decided with one voice he should be sent, and he went. His name was Aidan - and he was the Apostle of all Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire. He had the joy to see the whole people bow their necks to receive the yoke of Christ."


http://www.lindisfarne.org.uk/general/aidan.htm

Then they went out, using Aidan's only method as a missionary, which was to walk the lanes, talk to all the people he met and interest them in the faith if he could. His monks visited and revisited the villages where he sowed the seeds and in time local Christian communities were formed. One story tells that the king, worried that bishop Aidan would walk like a peasant, gave him a horse but Aidan gave it away to a beggar. He wanted to walk, to be on the same level as the people he met and no doubt to vary his approach when he discovered something of their background and attitudes.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

God in A Messy World.



I heard a preacher say, "We live in a messy world." I totally agree with him. Almost every day we run into a mess. Traffic, sickness, nasty co-workers, family problems - it goes on and on. The people who follow God also have messes in their lives because we live on a dysfunctional planet. But the preacher went on to say, "The only thing messier than following God, is not following God."

I've thought about that lately. I've thought about how hard life can be but then thought about how my life would be without God in it. It wouldn't be just messy, it would be a horrible disaster.

If God were not in my life, I would not be speaking to anyone in my family. They have all hurt me at one time or another but I learned forgiveness from God; therefore, I not only speak with them, I love them dearly.

If God were not in my life I would be drunk - a lot. He took drinking away from me and I'm so glad he did.

If God were not in my life my marriage would be over. Without Him I couldn't have overlooked the things my husband said when we fought. I couldn't have let my husband be himself and accept him just the way he is. I would have left him and gone out to face the world alone without his support and love.

If God were not in my life I would have committed suicide by now. I came close even when he was in my life, so I know I would have done it. Life was just too painful - but with God's strength and love I can make it through each day.

I sometimes look at people and think, "How can you not want God in your life? How can you think this life is all there is and be okay with that? How can you not think about nor want eternal life?" I'll never understand it. I just pray everyone in the world will find out how wonderful it is to have God in your life.




Saturday, October 26, 2013

We All Belong to God.



 "The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him." Psalm 24:1


I read this verse yesterday morning after praying for my daughter who was having some trouble. I believe the Lord was telling me my daughter belonged to Him. Her life was in his hands and I was not to worry.

I take seriously this verse: "Do not be worried about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
 Philippians 4:6

My mind runs to worry as a river runs to the sea. I'm disciplining my mind to take every single worry to God and Scripture doesn't lie; He gives me the peace that passes my understanding. I just want to thank and praise him for that today.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Conclusion of "If Not Good - Not God."

Conclusion of:

If Not Good - Not God. 
by I.M. Haldeman

On one occasion when talking to the Jews Jesus said that Abraham had rejoiced to see his day, had seen it and was glad. They turned upon him and reminded him he was not yet fifty years old, how then could he have seen Abraham, or Abraham him - that Abraham who had been dead nearly two thousand years?

He faced them and said, "Truly I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am."
There is one place in Holy Scripture where this phrase is supremely used. In the third chapter of the book of Exodus it is recorded that God manifested himself to Moses at the burning bush, and there declared himself to be the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. He commanded Moses to return to Egypt, appear before Pharaoh and demand the release of the children of Israel from their cruel bondage; and when Moses inquired by what name he should speak to the people, he answered,

"Say unto them, I AM has sent me to you."
"I AM."
To the Jew these two words set forth the supreme name and title of the eternal God.

In saying, "Before Abraham was - I Am," Jesus announced himself to be the eternal, self-centered, supreme being, Almighty God. When he said this, and because they understood him, because they knew exactly what he meant by these words, the Jews took up stones to stone him.

Jesus asked, "For what good work do you stone me?"
They answered, "For a good work we do not stone you but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself out to be God."

The Jews were not deceived. They knew what he had done. They knew he claimed to be no less than very God himself.

Therefore: If Jesus Christ were not Almighty God, he was not a good man.
No mere man can claim to be God and be good.
He who, as mere man, claims to be God, robs God of the glory that is exclusively his.
No man who robs God of equality and who deceives men into believing that he is God, can be good - he is a wicked and blasphemous deceiver.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Jesus Says He is God.

Continued from previous post...

If Not Good - Not God. 
by I.M. Haldeman

Against this exaltation of Christ as merely a good man, and the persistent denial that he was God, stands the unmistakable claim which Jesus Christ himself made - that he was God.

Jesus made the claim to be God in many ways.
He claimed it by declaring his power and authority to forgive sin.
That was a striking moment when he proclaimed it for the first time. Four men had brought a paralytic to the house where he was preaching. When they could not get in because of the crowd, they climbed up on the roof, took off some of the tiling, and by means of ropes or corners of the mattress let the man down to the very feet of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he turned to the sick man and said, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

At once there was an uproar. The leading men, sitting round and watching him, burst out with a protest, charging him with blasphemy, saying that God only could forgive sin.
And they were right.
No mere man can forgive sin. Again and again the Scriptures teach us that forgiveness is with God that he may be feared.

In announcing the man's sins forgiven, Jesus clearly claimed the prerogative, power and authority which belong to God.

He claimed this equality by declaring himself to be the Son of God. The the Jews, "Son of God" was equivalent to "God the Son." It meant to them, the moment he styled himself by that name, an unqualified claim to essential equality with the Father. Because of this they raged against him and would have killed him, crying out that he had made himself equal with God.

He made this claim in terms which admit of no misunderstanding. he said, "I and the Father are one."
When Philip said, "Show us the Father and it will be enough," he answered and said, "Have you been with me so long a time and have you not known me, Philip? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." He also said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life - no man comes to the Father but by me."

By this statement he deliberately shut out all other men as the ground and means of approach to God. He declares that God, the Father, can be found in and through him alone; that he is the supreme way, the very truth and the very life; not that he knows some truth and has a measure of life in common with men, but that he is the truth - the Absolute life. Such attitude, such claimed rights, privileges and powers belong alone to God.

But he goes beyond this. He testifies that he has been from all eternity the manifestation of the very self-hood of the Father. Hear what he says:
"And now, O Father, glorify me with your own self, with the glory which I had with you before the world was."

He traces his personality backward beyond the hour when the world was launched into space, before the stellar systems were created. he goes beyond time and takes us into eternity.

Such claims as these are the claims of one who declares himself to be, and without restraint, nothing less than Almighty God.