Friday, June 28, 2013

The Greatest Commandment.

And one of the teachers of the law came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that Jesus answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”

Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”   Mark 12:28-31

"So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13

May God fill us with this love.

Monday, June 24, 2013

"It is A Faithful Saying."

I just read in The Works of Charles Spurgeon that Paul has written four "faithful sayings".

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners - of whom I am the worst. 1 Timothy 1:15

Physical training is of some value, but training for godliness is much better promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. This is a faithful saying and everyone should accept it. 1 Timothy 4:8-9

This is a faithful saying: If we die with Him we shall also live with Him. 2 Timothy 2:11

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 

This is a faithful saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. Titus 3:4-8

I guess these sayings are the whole gospel in a nutshell! Jesus died for us, he will train us to be godly, our old sinful self will die and we have a new life with Jesus and finally, we are not saved by any good works we do, but we are saved through the grace of God and will have eternal life with Him.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Radiocarbon Dating and Creationism.

I was reading some articles on creation vs evolution and was especially interested in radiocarbon dating. This is the test that scientists tell us determines the age of fossils. I had read before that it was a faulty process and this new article confirmed that by this and other examples:

Ten coal samples provided by the US Department taken from ten different sites from different geological ages were tested at Pennsylvania State University for C14 content. Interestingly, all of the coal samples returned a similar age (average 49,600 years). The similarity of age results suggest a single hydraulic catastrophe in which the organic coal source was suddenly and universally buried. A universal planetary flood is widely denied by Materialists, yet C14 in the coal testifies to a singular event in the past like Noah’s flood described in scripture.

Another example is the testing of diamonds:  

There is no known process by which diamonds mined from deep below ground could have C14 atoms. (yet they do) Regardless of how it got there, the presence of measurable C14 in diamonds implies an upper limit to the age of the earth of thousands of years rather than billions.

There are quite a few methods of dating rocks and fossils. These articles discuss them.

Monday, June 17, 2013

He Sees Us All.

"The Lord looks from heaven; he observes everyone." Psalm 33:13

When a tear is shed by you, don't think that God does not see; for, "Like a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him." Your sigh is able to move the heart of God; your whisper can incline his ear to hear you, your prayer can stay His hand; your faith can move His arm.

Do not think that God sits on high taking no account of you. Remember, however poor and needy you are the Lord thinks upon you.

 "The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." 2 Chronicles 16:9

The study above is written by Charles Spurgeon.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Image of God.

I was reading a book about a woman's childhood. Her parents were not believers. Her father rose high in the academic world. They had money and status. But as the years went by they became more and more unhappy and turned to drinking liquor every night. They both died alcoholics.

I thought about her parents and felt so sorry for them. They had all this world could give, but of course it wasn't enough to make them happy. It never is. Satan tells us money, power and status will fulfill us but that is a lie. What a waste and what a tragedy to live without God. How can anyone find peace and hope without Him?

I saw a scientist on TV tonight talking about humans leaving planet Earth and going to make new worlds by terraforming:

Terraforming (literally, "Earth-shaping") of a planetmoon, or other body is the hypothetical process of deliberately modifying its atmospheretemperature, surface topography or ecology to be similar to the biosphere of Earth to make it habitable by humans.

This scientist said, "We will go out and make other worlds after our own image."  Our image - not God's. I don't know if he was quoting the Bible, but I think he was - comparing us with God making this earth. Well, we haven't done such a great job here so I don't think we would do such a great job with another world. What image did those parents leave with their children?

We were originally made in the image of God, but when we fell that image was broken. Now, if we want to see the image of God we can look to Jesus and how he lived.

"The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." 2 Corinthians 4:4

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Pastor's Sermon.

A story is told about a man who preached an impressive sermon, seeking to be the pastor of a new church. Everybody loved it and voted for him to become their new pastor. They were a bit surprised, however, when he preached the same sermon his first Sunday there—and even more surprised when he preached it again the next week. After he preached the same sermon the third week in a row, the leaders met with him to find out what was going on. The pastor assured them, “I know what I’m doing. When you start living out this sermon, I’ll go on to my next one.”

This story makes me smile. He was a wise pastor. This also reminds me of me and how I need to learn the same thing over and over. Each time I read the Bible I think, "Yes, I need my heart to be full of these thoughts. I need to be reminded again and again.

I was reading a Bible study and came across this in the book of Numbers:

"Give the following instructions to the people of Israel: Throughout the generations to come you must make tassels for the hems of your clothing and attach them with a blue cord. When you see the tassels, you will remember and obey all the commands of the LORD instead of following your own desires and defiling yourselves, as you are prone to do. The tassels will help you remember that you must obey all my commands and be holy to your God. Numbers 15:38-40

I love that idea. Wearing something that will remind you of God all day. I was thinking I'll make a bracelet  that is blue - like the cord and when I look at it I will remember God and all that he wants me to be.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Who Should We Not Follow?

Last post I wrote about following Jesus and how many times he told us to do that. God has a lot to say about who not to follow:

1. Jesus said, "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them.  Luke 21:8

 Matthew tells us Jesus went on to say,
 "So if anyone tells you, 'There he is, out in the wilderness,' do not go out; or, 'Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Matthew 24:26

So we are to be careful not to follow false prophets and false Christs. Jesus second coming will be in the sky, with the clouds, and a loud trumpet sounding. He will not come back any other way. This is how Jesus protects us from lies about his second coming. "Look, he is coming with the clouds," and "every eye will see him, even those who pierced him"; and all peoples on earth "will mourn because of him." So shall it be! Amen. Revelation 1:7

2. "Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd, Exodus 23:2

People did this at Jesus' trial, and in our day there are those who are so sure someone is guilty they will manufacture evidence to prove it. Following the crowd in any way can be dangerous. Think for yourself first and bring everything to God.

3. Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the LORD your God.'" Leviticus 18:30

The detestable customs of the pagan nations were varied. They were violent, they waged war for profit, they sold their enemies as slaves, they had human sacrifices - mostly innocent children, they had temple prostitutes- men and women. We are not to follow what the majority of the nations do. Today, waging war is common and millions of innocent people die. There are sex slaves, there is slave labor, there is oppression and child labor. We are not to follow these practices.

4. Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you. Deuteronomy 6:14

There really are no other gods, and that is why we must not follow them. They cannot help us or save us. The so-called gods of the pagans were cruel and their worshipers became cruel also. We become what we worship.

5. My dear friend, do not follow wrong examples, but right ones. He who habitually does what is right is a child of God: he who habitually does what is wrong has not seen God. 3John 1:11

How many times have we followed wrong examples? I hate to remember the times that I have done this.

6. You must have this tassel so that you may look at it and remember all the commandments of the LORD and obey them and so that you do not follow after your own heart and your own eyes that lead you to unfaithfulness. Numbers 15:39

We are not to even follow our own hearts or our own eyes for they will not lead us in the path of righteousness. My heart has led me in the wrong path many times. My eyes have looked on things they shouldn't have. We can't trust our own hearts; we can only trust the heart of Jesus. 

7. Envy not the unjust man, and do not follow his ways. Proverbs 3:31

Why would we envy the unjust man? Perhaps because he has become rich through his evil ways. But that man's life will end up in eternal death. There is no reason to envy him.

8. How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers! Psalm 1:1

I can't count the number of times people have given me bad advice. Most of the time I didn't listen, but sometimes I did. We need to get advice from God through prayer. 

9. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:12

We are not to follow humans, even good Christian men. Paul rebuked the Corinthians for saying these things. We are to follow Jesus alone.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Follow Me!

Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:38

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27

Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me. John12:26

He said to another person, "Come, follow me." The man agreed, but he said, "Lord, first let me return home and bury my father." Luke 9:59

As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him. Mark 2:14

At one point, Jesus told Peter twice to follow him:

Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, "Follow me." John 21:19

Jesus replied, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me." John 21:22

The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me." John 1:43

Jesus called out to them, "Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!" Matthew 4:19

Have you ever tried to follow someone in your car? They say, "Just follow me to my house!" All the time you are driving your eyes are riveted on that car. 

My aunt and uncle were visiting my family. They were from Canada and we met them in Los Angeles to show them to our house which was an hour away. Not being used to huge, busy freeways, my uncle lost sight of us and got lost. Freeways in Los Angeles often split in half and if you are in the wrong lane - too bad for you!

Eventually, after driving on and off freeways and going in circles, they got some directions and a map at a gas station and made it to our house. 

I have certainly noticed in my life that when my eyes are off Jesus and on me and my troubles then I do feel lost and sometimes go around in circles. Looking at Jesus strengthens my faith in and love for God.  and puts life in perspective.

"Follow me," he said over and over. It is like keeping your eyes on a fixed star in order to find your way home.

 "The fixed stars have always been the means by which we measure our position in the Universe. They were first categorized by their colour and were associated with the characteristics of the planets thereby."

Jesus is a fixed star, " which we measure our position in the Universe."

"We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith." Hebrews 12:2

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Mother.

My mother doesn't often question the ways of God. She prays, and accepts every answer God gives whether it is yes, no or wait. She is 85 years old, and the only time I have ever heard her question God is when my grandson Craig died. She told me she said to God, "But you promised to look after him."

That was her first response to the sad news; but of course, she has accepted God's will about Craig since then. She doesn't have much patience with people being angry with God because of what happens or doesn't happen when they pray.

She often says, "Even if all God ever did for us was send his Son to die so we could be saved - that's enough."

She can say this even after her only son died when he was 22. She had to watch him suffer with illness all his short life. She lost hours and hours of sleep taking care of him and then had to get up and go to work to help pay the medical bills. She has suffered in this life, but it has never made her bitter or angry. I'm thankful for such a mother.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Son of Man.

"You are the most excellent of the sons of men. Grace has anointed your lips, therefore God has blessed you forever." Psalm 45:2

The quotation below is written by Charles Spurgeon:

"Oh Jesus! Your power, your grace, your justice, your tenderness, your truth, your majesty, and your unchanging character make up such a man, or rather a God-man, as neither heaven nor earth has seen elsewhere.

Your infancy, your eternity, your sufferings, your triumphs, your death and your immortality are all woven in one gorgeous tapestry, without seam or tear. 

You are music without discord, you are many and yet not divided; you are all things and yet not diverse. As all the colors blend into one resplendent rainbow, so all the glories of heaven and earth meet in you and unite so wondrously, that there is none like you in all things..."

Before I read this, I hadn't thought deeply about the fact there is no one like Jesus in Heaven above or Earth beneath! He is half us and half God. The Son of God and as he said himself: the Son of Man. 

What an amazing thing for God to do -  become a man. It is an Amazing Grace!