Archive for the ‘God’s grace’ Category

March 26 Tears of Adversity — Truth2Freedom’s Blog

March 26, 2019

 

Scripture reading: 1 Peter 1:3–9 key verse: 2 Timothy 2:1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. For the peach lover, there is nothing quite like the sweet scent and taste of a ripe peach. However, a peach tree requires a certain number of cold days during the […]

via March 26 Tears of Adversity — Truth2Freedom’s Blog

This post describes the reasons for the adversity that we face in this life.  We, as Christians, are not in our real home yet.  The evil and suffering that we face and experience is purposeful; even though we may not know or understand the purpose at this time.  One day, we will  know.  Meanwhile, even though it’s very hard (sometimes extremely painful and sad) to go through them, they do turn out to be purposeful.

There is a song out that helps describe this phenomenon.  It’s called, “Maybe It’s OK.” by We Are Messengers.

 

 

Copy of post:

 

You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

For the peach lover, there is nothing quite like the sweet scent and taste of a ripe peach. However, a peach tree requires a certain number of cold days during the winter to produce quality peaches.

You can advance through your adversities because your afflictions likewise produce spiritual growth. Genuine spiritual fruit is unlikely to fully develop unless you are put into strenuous places. In adversity you grow in grace. Grace, God’s undeserved blessing, is hollow apart from suffering. Its richness, its strength, its nourishment, are released in adversity. Grace helps the weak to stand, the bruised to heal, the barren to blossom. In trouble you learn to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 2:1).

You also grow in your knowledge of God. Paul wanted to know God above all. That intimate relationship blossomed in jail rooms, not hotel rooms. Adversity drives you into face–to–face dealings with the Father.

You grow, too, in your love for God’s Word. David said, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes” (Ps. 119:71 kjv). Spiritual fruit is watered by the tears of adversity.

Thank You for Your grace in times of trouble. When I am weak, help me stand. Where I am barren, create blossoms. When I am bruised, heal me. Let the tears of my adversity water the spiritual fruit You want to produce in my life.[1]

Why did Jesus speak in parables?

December 8, 2018

Parable of the Sower - Matthew 13 - Seed, Soil, wayside, stony ...HT graphic:  gbcdecatur.org

That’s a question that Ligonier.org – The teaching fellowship of R.C. Sproul answers in a video presentation. There is also a transcript to read.

Excerpt:
He actually answers that question Himself, or gives one answer to it, when He tells the parable of the sower and the soils and His disciples don’t get it. They come to Him and say, “What was that all about?” and He explains it to them.

He says, “I’m giving these explanations to you because you’re my disciples. But one of the reasons I tell these parables is because when I tell the parables it actually makes clear whether people really grasp the meaning of the kingdom or not.” (See Matthew 13:11-17, Mark 4:10-12, or Luke 8:9-10.)

I don’t know if it’s said so often these days, but there was a time when people constantly said to ministers, “You should tell more stories like Jesus so that we can understand.” But Jesus didn’t tell these parables so much so that people would understand. They were really test cases of whether they understood the gospel that He preached in other words. When you think about it, that’s the case.

The Parable of the Sower is the gateway to all of the parables of Jesus.

Parable of the Sower | BibleOpia BlogThis explains why people can be at different levels of belief in their lifetimes.  It explains why people can “fall away” from faith in Jesus Christ.  The Bible is an honest book, telling us the truth about God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, while also informing us about the sins, errors and failings of mankind.

Personally, I have gone through several “crises of faith” in my 64 years on this earth.  A person who once loved (the agape kind in Christ, no less!) my husband and I made a sudden and devastating decision to abandon us.  Why?  Over a simple argument that could have easily been resolved.  In addition, he also rejected any family members, friends, acquaintances that he perceived as “siding” with us.  This occurred over a year ago, but when it first happened I cried day and night for three months.  I thought, how could this person do such a drastic, painful and heartless thing? Where is the forgiveness?  Where is the reconciliation?   I asked and prayed, “God?  Where are you in this?”  Now, I realize that it is a situation that needs to be resolved in the life of this person.  We are just the “collateral damage,” so to speak.  If this person is supposed to be a true Christian, then why this rejection, even after apologizing and asking for forgiveness?

Apparently, a person can reject those that he used to love unconditionally; and be totally indifferent about it.

Last Christmas, the pastor mentioned to pray for those who are in estrangement situations.  Much weeping and sniffling could be heard from the congregation.  I never knew how prevalent the act of disowning family members was until I did some research on it.  Rejection hurts – terribly!  But with faith and love in Jesus Christ, we can overcome.  Why?  Because He has “overcome the world” through His death and resurrection to life!  In eternity, there will be no tears, pain, hate, indifference, warfare, sin, or rejection.  Why?  Because the imperfect world we live in now will be gone, and a new life of love, peace, joy and worship of God will replace all of those negative and painful things that we endure while on this earth!  That is why the lovely list (love, joy, peace, kindness, faithfulness, goodness) in “the fruit of the Spirit” also contains the term longsuffering.

As Jesus told us in Scripture, there will be those who will reject Him – and the Gospel.  Then, why would we ever expect to never be rejected by people who have obviously been negatively convinced against us?  I really don’t know how this person can live with himself.  It’s very sad.  However, people make bad choices all the time and then need to live with possible regret and future consequences.

Moving on with this post.

One of the more popular posts here at this blog is entitled, The Importance of the Parable of the Wheat and Tares.

Within that post, we also read about the Parable of the Sower:

Jesus told us that there will be those who will reject the Gospel in the Parable of the Sower

Mat 13:18

“Therefore hear the parable of the sower:

Mat 13:19

“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.

Mat 13:20

“But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;

Mat 13:21

“yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

Mat 13:22

“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

Mat 13:23

“But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

As Christian evangelists, we are to “plant the seed” through spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God does the rest! The verses in Matthew reveal the many ways that a person who hears the Gospel either “goes by the wayside,” or, “receives it with joy but only endures for while and then stumbles because of persecution,” or,  “allows the word to be choked out because of the cares of this world and deceitfulness of riches.” All of these can cause a person to become unfruitful.

We may inquire further to discover what Jesus meant when he stated (in Matthew 13:23) “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it.”

David Guzik has a good commentary about that verse:

d. Good ground: As seed falling on good ground brings a good crop of grain (Matthew 13:8), so some respond rightly to the word and bear much fruit.

i. This soil represents those who receive the word, and it bears fruit in their soil – in differing proportions (some hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty), though each has a generous harvest.

e. Therefore, hear the parable of the sower: We benefit from seeing bits of ourselves in all four soils.
– Like the wayside, sometimes we allow the word no room at all in our lives. – Like the stony places, we sometimes have flashes of enthusiasm in receiving the word that quickly burn out. – Like the soil among thorns, the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches are constantly threatening to choke out God’s word and our fruitfulness. – Like the good ground, the word bears fruit in our lives.

i. We notice that the difference in each category was with the soil itself. The same seed was cast by the same sower. You could not blame the differences in results on the sower or on the seed, but only on the soil. “O my dear hearers, you undergo a test today! Peradventure you will be judging the preacher, but a greater than the preacher will be judging you, for the Word itself shall judge you.” (Spurgeon)

 

Guzik goes on to reveal another aspect of this parable, and it has to do with “good soil” and ultimately asking ourselves, “what kind of soil am I?”

ii. The parable was also an encouragement to the disciples. Even though it might seem that few respond, God is in control and the harvest will certainly come. This was especially meaningful in light of the rising opposition to Jesus. “Not all will respond, but there will be some who do, and the harvest will be rich.” (France)

iii. “Who knoweth, O teacher, when thou labourest even among the infants, what the result of thy teaching may be? Good corn may grow in very small fields.” (Spurgeon)

iv. Even more than describing the mixed progress of the gospel message, the parable of the sower compels the listener to ask, “What kind of soil am I?”

The Ligonier essay continues:

Think about the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14). We all know what the answer is to the question “Which man went down justified?” but that’s only because we don’t really grasp the parable. Nobody listening to Jesus thought it would be the tax collector who went away from the temple justified.

I sometimes say to people, “Just think about these two men. You’re an evangelical Christian. Which of these two are you more like? Don’t you say to God, ‘I thank you that I’m not like other men’; ‘I thank you that you’ve helped me to discipline my life’; ‘I thank you that you’ve helped me to give away money rather than hoard money’? When you begin to think of those things, actually you sound more like the Pharisee.” And that’s very, very uncomfortable: to discover that, even though you trust in Christ, there’s a Pharisee deep down inside you.

Jesus tells these parables to probe inside us to see whether we really understand the gospel and whether the gospel is really beginning to transform our lives.

They’re not just stories. They’re weapons in spiritual warfare.

Hat tip: Ligonier.org

Strife in this World. Where Are You? Where Are You Going?

January 24, 2017

I recently listened to one of the Dave Matthews Band’s greatest hits entitled, “Where Are You Going.”

You can watch the video here:

YouTube: Dave Matthews Band: Where Are You Going? [Lyrics below post]

I have always liked this singer’s voice and many of the band’s songs. Matthew’s singing style is often very calm and soothing. In this particular song, Dave Matthews  asks  the “where are you going?” question.  At certain spots in the song, he (sadly) states that he “has no answers for you.” But he does state, “where you go is where I wanta be.”

So, where does one look for the ultimate answer to “where are you going?” Where do YOU ultimately want to be and with Whom?

Before we get to those important questions, let’s look at a few words that describe what most of us go through at times in this life.

The first word is “strife.”

The meaning of the word “strife:”

noun
1. vigorous or bitter conflict, discord, or antagonism:
to be at strife.

2. a quarrel, struggle, or clash:
armed strife.

3. competition or rivalry:
the strife of the marketplace.

4. Archaic. strenuous effort.
– Dictionary.com

The Bible utilizes the term “tribulation” [“trouble” in some versions]

noun

1.  grievous trouble; severe trial or suffering.

2.  an instance of this; an affliction, trouble, etc.

tribulation in the Bible:

trouble or affliction of any kind (Deut. 4:30; Matt. 13:21; 2 Cor. 7:4). In Rom. 2:9 “tribulation and anguish” are the penal sufferings that shall overtake the wicked. In Matt. 24:21, 29, the word denotes the calamities that were to attend the destruction of Jerusalem.
Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary
– Dictionary.com

The NKJV at the Blue Letter Bible website informs us that the term “tribulation” occurs 22 times in 22 verses.

The plural version of “tribulations” occurs 8 times in 8 verses.

I encourage readers to click on the individual verses and read the surrounding Scripture. It always helps to clarify the content and keep it in proper context.

When we read this portion of a verse in 2 Thessalonians, one could accidentally take it out of context.

2Th 1:6

since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you,

Reading all of 2 Thessalonians chapter 1 reveals what we are to be, do, and endure on this earth. There will come a time when those who wrought trouble upon believers in Jesus Christ will be “repaid with tribulation” by God Himself.

Did anyone reading here today hear about the recent clash between a female anti-Trump passenger and a male passenger sitting next to her on a plane?

You can view the video clip HERE.

In the video clip, Martha McCallum also interviews the man who was verbally attacked, and you might be surprised at what he says near the end of the interview. He didn’t want to press charges against her, saying that “maybe they were just having a bad day, or something.” And he ended the interview by saying, “I just wanted to show them the love of Jesus.”

Perhaps the Christian man heard that the woman and her husband were flying back from the funeral of her mother-in-law? Now THAT would have been a very bad day for anyone! If the woman and her husband were not kicked off of the plane, perhaps he could have shared the Good News of the Gospel with her.

Maybe not…

But this man showed grace towards two individuals – one was silent (the husband) while the other verbally abused and cursed at him (the cursing part isn’t in the video clip, but several witnesses said he was cursed at during this encounter).

Jesus warned us that “in this world, we would have tribulation (or trouble).”

Matthew 24 describes it vividly, and we learn that such trouble and strife will increase the closer we get to the end times.

Mat 24:7

“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences,[fn] and earthquakes in various places.

Mat 24:8

“All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Mat 24:9

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

Mat 24:10

“And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another

Mat 24:11

“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.

Mat 24:12

“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

I am seeing a huge increase in “the love of many will grow cold.” Even relatives, friends, and acquaintances are turning on each other over the election results last month! It’s truly sad…

Matthew 24 informs us:

Mat 24:13

“But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

Mat 24:14

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

The truth contained in the Bible knows no equal! We are told that Christians are going to be persecuted. Notice that “the fruit of the Spirit” contains the term “longsuffering.”

Gal 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Gal 5:23

gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Longsuffering is why Christians are told (in Matthew 24:13)  to endure till the end.

What are we seeing since the election (as well as before it)? A huge increase in the following as described in Galatians:

Gal 5:19

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[fn] fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,

Gal 5:20

idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,

Gal 5:21

envy, murders,[fn] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

No matter what is thrown against us, we have the promises of Jesus Christ to sustain us through it all.

Jesus tells us:

Jhn 16:33

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will[fn] have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Paul reiterates this in Romans:

Rom 8:38

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

Rom 8:39

nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Our true and ultimate home:

Jhn 14:2

“In My Father’s house are many mansions;[fn] if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.[fn

 

Jhn 14:3

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

NKJV Footnotes

(14:2)

Literally dwellings

Hat tips to all links and graphics.

*******

Lyrics to “Where Are You Going” by the Dave Matthews Band.

Where are you going
With your long face
Pullin’ down
Don’t hide away,
Like an ocean
That you can’t see
But you can smell
And the sound of waves crash down.
I am no superman
I have no reasons for you.
I am no hero,
Aw that for sure,
But I do know one thing,
That’s where you are is where I belong.
I do know
Where you go,
Is where I wanta be.

Where are you going,
Where do you go.
Are you looking for answers,
To questions, under the stars
Well if along the way,
You are grown weary,
You can rest with me
Until a brighter day
When you ok.

I am no superman,
I have no answers for you.
I am no hero,
And that’s for sure.
But I know one thing,
That’s where you are, is where I belong.
I do know
Where you go,
Is where I want to be.

Where are you going
Where do you go.

Where do you go.
Where are you going,
Where do you go.

I am no Superman
I have no answers,
For you.
I am no hero,
Aw that’s for sure.
But I do know one thing,
That’s where are,
Is where I belong.
I do know
Where you go,
Is where I wanta be.

Where are you going
Where do you go.

And a where are you going.
Where…lets go!

Songwriters
HARRISON, GAVIN RICHARD / BYER, RICARDO A.

Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Read more: Dave Matthews Band – Where Are You Going Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Who Is Your Source of Hope?

October 1, 2016

Take it from me…it pays to pre-order books because sometimes you will get the book even before the national release date!  Yesterday, I received Dr. David Jeremiah’s latest book:

People Are Asking: Is This The End?

I read the introduction and the first few pages of Chapter 1 – “The Age of Anything Goes.” For an excerpt of the first chapter, scroll down the page at the following link and read Overview of Chapter 1: The Age of Anything Goes.

That excerpt is sobering, but now that I have delved into the entire chapter, the evil and depravity that is going on in the world today is so very discouraging, damaging and frightening!

I truly am saddened that the country that I grew up in from the mid-nineteen fifties through graduating college in 1977 has disappeared and been replaced with the “normalization” of the most egregious sinful secular-leftist and atheistic (even devil-worshipping!) kinds of immorality and death-cult beliefs that it is absolutely astonishing!

There was a time when Christian parents could shield their children from all of this, but no more.  The so-called “smartphones” that adults and children hold in their hands today are just a click away from pornography websites.

Excerpt from Chapter One:

Depravity in Our Minds

In January 2016, the Internet’s largest online pornography site released its annual statistics.  On just this one website in just one year – 2015 – consumers watched 4,392,486,580 hours of pornography.  Convert those hours into years, and it means those people collectively spent more than 500,000 years watching porn.

On this particular site in 2015 alone, people watched 87,849,731, 608 X-rated videos.  Over 87 billion!  That’s twelve videos for every man, woman, boy and girl on the planet.

The rate at which sexual depravity is being “normalized” is causing havoc upon many freedoms that Christians have enjoyed in the past.  Now, deeply held religious beliefs, freedom of speech, freedom to practice our faith in the public domain, freedom of association to reject the immoral cesspool around us, and most of all, the freedom to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ is actively being punished by “the powers that be” in government! This scenario is especially egregious in the liberal courts dominated by anti-Christian “judges” who decide to allow sexual immoralities described in God’s Word to trump the First Amendment rights of Christian believers.

I could go on and on…but most readers get the picture.

The saving grace in all of this is the fact that Christians know Who wins and triumphs at the end of days.  There will come a time when God’s mercy and grace will run out and the judgments will fall upon those who rejected God’s provision for salvation – the Cross of Jesus Christ!

This is probably the biggest reason why this blog exists.  To warn people about the schemes of Satan that are there to grab our minds, entice our flesh, and spiral us down into the cesspool of depravity through active sin;  in order to keep our minds, hearts, bodies, souls and spirits away from God.

God the Father,  who loves us so deeply that He sent His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place and free us once and for all from the penalty that we all deserve for our rebellion and sin; gives us the kind of hope that can never be achieved on our own.

What will YOU do (and decide about God’s provision through Jesus Christ) on this side of eternity?

Dr. Jeremiah masterfully shares the truth that for many people, their source of hope is sadly misplaced.  He states that “the question you must address is not whether America and the world will regain their footing, but how you will respond whether they do or not.”

“That is what this book is all about!”

Dr. Jeremiah explains the four common responses to the growing fears about the future.  Three are wrong, and one is right.

Wrong:

    1.  Denial – Living in the illusion that nothing will change, refusing to heed the clouds gathering on the horizon.
    2.  Despair – Collapse is inevitable, all is hopeless, nothing can be done and we are doomed.
    3. “Eat, drink, and be merry.”  As Solomon (see Ecclesiastes 8:15) warned us, all the pleasure we can get because there is “nothing new under the sun” is not productive.  It doesn’t give us hope.  In fact, it is “all vanity and grasping after the wind.”  (see Ecclesiastes 1:14).

Ecc 1:14

I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.

Right:

The one right response is to look beyond the gathering storm to the one solid and certain source of hope–to God Himself.  Hope in the future of America and the stability of the world is little more than wishful thinking.  It is not reliable.  The hope God offers is the only realistic, absolute hope that carries the promise of a certain outcome.

The next three paragraphs in the Introduction are very powerful!

We do not know whether America will soon fall.  We do not know when the Lord will return.  But we do know that whatever our circumstances, God’s desire for us is to live without anxiety and with hope.  He offers you “thoughts of peace and not of evil.” and He wants “to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

In this book I will show you how to find that hope.  It is a hope that is not dependent on whether America falls or recovers or whether world order stabilizes or disintegrates.  It is a hope that rises above trouble and chaos, enabling you to keep your focus on your future reward and endure whatever comes, whether good or evil, with grace and equanimity.

Had to look that last word up in the dictionary!

equanimity:

1.

mental or emotional stability or composure, especially under tension or strain; calmness; equilibrium.
Dr. Jeremiah continues:

The added benefit of this hope is that those who exercise it before others set an example that may just make a difference in the outcome.  Enough Christians exhibiting faith in God just might be the salt that saves America.

— Dr. David Jeremiah

San Diego, California

June 2016

Hat tip: David Jeremiah.org – “People Are Asking: Is This The End?”

Hat tips to all links.

About “Self- Identity…”

June 1, 2016

Found an excellent post via Truth2Freedom’s blog entitled, What Is Your Self Identity? – Biblical Counseling Center. It will be posted in full below, but I wanted to first write that the Lord is SO GOOD to have led me to read and share the post here!

Secondly…

Recently, a new commenter came to this blog railing against me because of perceived “insults” that I made in a previous post.

I’m not sure that I want this “John” having complete access to commenting here at my blog, so I will re-post his comment here so that readers can see what he wrote:

John:

This is one of the most ridiculous rants I have read in quite a while. First of all, I know plenty of high school and college aged kids who do know the meaning and significance of Memorial Day. Apparently better than you do! It is not about God and the Bible, it’s about remembering our fallen soldiers. They are well educated, savvy young people who would have gotten edited out of Jesse Watters’ Fox propaganda video. And guess what? They all went to, or are going to public schools and universities. None of them have been dumbed down by “liberal, leftist, progressive, LGBTQ “leaders” of the maniacal asylums…”. And I’m sure they know exactly what The Greatest Generation did for America and the world!

I also wonder how many brave and noble LGBT veterans you’ve offended by this screed. I know gay veterans from the Vietnam war and from both Gulf Wars since WWII, and they served along side their straight brothers in arms without questioning or caring about their sexual orientation.

Additionally, John also wrote:

What I said was Memorial Day is not about God and the Bible! It’s about remembering our war dead! And no! I am not totally ignorant about God’s word.

I think that the following post answers John’s screed against me and other Christians, as well as it also addresses his claim that  “[he] is not totally ignorant about God’s Word”  better than I ever could.

Big hat tip:  Truth2Freedom blog!

[Note:  Graphics within post added by Christine.]

What Is Your Self-Identity? – Biblical Counseling Center

Self-identity: With all the talk of self identity and gender nowadays, you may think this article is about bathroom choice. It’s not. Guest writer Joshua Waulk of Baylight Counseling in Tampa, FL, zeroes in on the “I am” statements we Christians often make about ourselves and suggests a better self-identity. His article appeared first here and is used with permission.

BCC logoI am ADHD.

I am bipolar.

I am depressed.

I am an addict.

I am [fill in the blank].

Within the context of counseling, it’s common to hear people use these types of phrases to describe themselves. To be sure, there’s a sense in which they’re simply using a modern style of communication in order to say that they struggle, actively, with this thing or that thing.

Self-Identity: Do Your Words Describe or Define?

But, my concern is that, too often, embedded deep within the heart of the person, is this subtle notion that, in fact, the thing they’re describing defines who they are. In other words, my concern for some people I meet with in counseling is that their language is not merely descriptive, but is definitive.

My concern is even greater when working with followers of Jesus.

One of my favorite verses in all of the Bible is found in John 8:58. There, Jesus said to the religious rulers of the day, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am [emphasis added].” This statement enraged the men who were persecuting Him, because they understood that Jesus was hearkening back to God’s self-identification in Exodus 3:14
 

Jesus wasn’t simply identifying himself with God, but was defining, or declaring himself to be God.

When we pause to listen to our own “I am” statements, and compare them with the words of Christ, might we reconsider how we use these seemingly self-defining statements? Do we mean to say, when we use them, that who we are is all that the thing, or the struggle, or the condition is? If not, then perhaps we ought to abandon our use of this language altogether.

How Does Jesus Define You?

The point is, in light of who we are in Christ, it would be helpful to temper our use of  “I am” statements, especially those used in connection with our particular sin or suffering. Too often, they simply do not square with our new identity in Christ according to Scripture, but find their roots in the disease models of secular psychology.

As Christians, as people who have died with Christ, and through whom Christ presently and  actively lives, we are no longer defined by the sins and struggles of this world alone, even though we continue to be affected by them.

If Paul’s words are true when he says in Galatians 2:20,

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
And again in 2 Corinthians 5:17,
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Then we should carefully inspect how we make use of descriptive language.
How we define and describe ourselves should always be in keeping with Scripture. Sometimes, there will be tension. For example, it would be true for me to say, “I am a sinner.” But, because of the redemptive work of Christ on the cross, I cannot leave the conversation there.

Because of Christ, I am no longer defined by my sin or suffering, but am defined by Him. I am a sinner, yes, but I am also eternally forgiven, justified, and redeemed (1 John 1:8-9).

I may struggle with this thing or that, but that struggle no longer defines me. Like all things of this world, they are passing away, and who God is making us to be will one day be revealed in Christ (1 John 2:17; Hebrews 10:14).

Join the Discussion

[Note:  Graphics added by Christine.]

  1. What is your self-identity?

2.  How have your own “I am” statements affected your understanding of who you are in Christ?

3.  Can you think of any adjustments you need to make to better reflect a biblical understanding of your identity in Christ?

 

The post What Is Your Self-Identity? appeared first on Biblical Counseling Center.

Hat tips to all links.

Relativists hate Truth and work to suppress it

May 18, 2016

In my previous post regarding the question, Is America Under Judgment? , fellow Christian commenters shared their beliefs on that issue.

This morning, I found a commentary written by Linda Kimball over at Patriots and Liberty.com, where she discusses truth, our current age of moral relativism (plus the huge problems it presents), and the judgment of God.

I suggest reading the essay in its entirety.   However, I will share some important excerpts below.

Excerpt #1 about Truth vs. moral relativism:

Truth however, is neither the seductive lies of the devil nor the worldly opinions, fleeting feelings and perverted choices of fallen men and women but rather the Second Person of the Holy Trinity (John 16:6). Jesus is the embodiment of the wisdom of God; He is the eternally unchanging Word of God. John 1:10 tells us that everything seen and unseen was created ex nihilo by the spoken Word of the Son of God, which means that Jesus Christ was active and present long before His incarnation, therefore eternally co-existent with the Father. Jesus Christ is therefore God just as the Father and Holy Spirit are God, hence the Word of the Old Testament’s creation account is Jesus Christ of the New Testament (John 1:1). Jesus Christ is the Word. His Word is Truth even as He Himself is Truth, the same today as yesterday and for always. Truth then is Jesus Christ Who teaches, “The truth will make you free.”

Truth is fidelity to Jesus Christ, hence Truth is an objective reality meant to be shared by all mankind. But like their father the devil, relativists hate Truth and work to suppress it, and herein lies the psychological violence which is the evil fruit of moral relativism:

“The clue to the mentality of the liar, in his hatred of truth, is his hatred of God. And this hatred of God floods over into hatred of those whom God loves, the innumerable millions for whom his divine Son died.” (The Roots of Violence, Vincent P. Miceli, S.J., p. 29)

Excerpt from Matthew Henry’s commentary on 2 Peter 3:

How great a blessing this is we learn by observing what is the pernicious consequence of the errors that ignorant and unstable men fall into-even their own destruction. Errors in particular concerning the holiness and justice of God are the utter ruin of multitudes of men. Let us therefore earnestly pray for the Spirit of God to instruct us in the truth, that we may know it as it is in Jesus, and have our hearts established with grace, that we may stand firm and unshaken, even in the most stormy times, when others are tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine.

III. The apostle gives them a word of caution, v. 17, 18, where, 1. He intimates that the knowledge we have of these things should make us very wary and watchful, inasmuch as there is a twofold danger, v. 17. (1.) We are in great danger of being seduced, and turned away from the truth. The unlearned and unstable, and they are very numerous, do generally wrest the scripture. Many who have the scriptures and read them do not understand what they read; and too many of those who have a right understanding of the sense and meaning of the word are not established in the belief of the truth, and all these are liable to fall into error. Few attain to the knowledge and acknowledgment of doctrinal Christianity; and fewer find, so as to keep in the way of practical godliness, which is the narrow way, which only leadeth unto life.

There must be a great deal of self-denial and suspicion of ourselves, and submitting to the authority of Christ Jesus our great prophet, before we can heartily receive all the truths of the gospel, and therefore we are in great danger of rejecting the truth.
(2.) We are in great danger by being seduced; for, [1.] So far as we are turned from the truth so far are we turned out-of-the-way to true blessedness, into the path which leads to destruction. If men corrupt the word of God, it tends to their own utter ruin.
[2.] When men wrest the word of God, they fall into the error of the wicked, men without law, who keep to no rules, set no bounds to themselves, a sort of free-thinkers, which the psalmist detests. Ps. 119:113, I hate vain thoughts, but thy law do I love. Whatever opinions and thoughts of men are not conformable to the law of God, and warranted by it, the good man disclaims and abhors; they are the conceits and counsels of the ungodly, who have forsaken God’s law, and, if we imbibe their opinions, we shall too soon imitate their practices.
[3.] Those who are led away by error fall from their own steadfastness. They are wholly unhinged and unsettled, and know not where to rest, but are at the greatest uncertainty, like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed. It nearly concerns us therefore to be upon our guard, seeing the danger is so great.

Back to Linda Kimball’s essay; excerpt #2:

According to the highly respected Evangelical minister Erwin Lutzer, a majority of contemporary Americans prefer darkness to light:

“No nation has turned away from so much light in order to choose darkness. No nation has squandered as many opportunities as we have. We can only call on God for mercy, and if it pleases Him He will come to our aid….if we humble ourselves, weeping for this nation, God may yet intervene and restore decency to this crazed world. Most of all, we should pray that millions would be converted and belong to God forever. People change their minds only when God changes their hearts.”  (Erwin W. Lutzer, Where Do We Go From Here?: Hope and Direction in our Present Crisis)

Some Christians are of the opinion that God is not (yet!) judging America.  However, we are so close (and obviously deserved of judgment here in 2016!) that it is more important than ever to get right with God!

Excerpt # 3 of Linda Kimball essay:

Guinness sums up the downward spiral of the West under the Judgment of God:

 Western cultural elites have disregarded God for more than two centuries, but for a while the effects were mostly confined to their own circles. At first, they disregarded God. Then they deliberately desecrated Western tradition and lived in ways that would have spelled disaster if they had been followed more closely. But now in the early twenty-first century, their movement from disregard to desecration to decadence is going mainstream, and the United States is only the lead society among those close to the tipping point…. Soon, as the legalization and then normalization of polyamory, polygamy, pedophilia and incest follow the same logic as that of abortion and homosexuality, the socially destructive consequences of these trends will reverberate throughout society until social chaos is beyond recovery. We can only pray there will be a return to God and sanity before the terrible sentence is pronounced: “God has given them over” to the consequences of their own settled choices.” (p. 20)

The thoughts and goals of reprobate people who clamor for transgender “equal access for men to go into women’s bathrooms” would previously have been not only considered as absolutely absurd in the past, but unconscionable and mentally insane!

But now, polls are saying that 12% of the public is “coming around” on even that peculiar and ridiculous delusion!

Where would this end?

It won’t… until “social chaos is beyond recovery.”

Perhaps “God has given them over” as it says in Scripture…to such consequences… by those who would allow themselves to celebrate such sin and evil.

How do Christians in today’s world avoid being led away?

Matthew Henry’s has the answers in his commentary:

 

2. That we may the better avoid being led away, the apostle directs us what to do, v. 18. And, (1.) We must grow in grace. He had in the beginning of the epistle exhorted us to add one grace to another, and here he advises us to grow in all grace, in faith, and virtue, and knowledge. By how much the stronger grace is in us, by so much the more stedfast shall we be in the truth.


(2.) We must grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. “Follow on to know the Lord. Labour to know him more clearly and more fully, to know more of Christ and to know him to better purpose, so as to be more like him and to love him better.’ This is the knowledge of Christ the apostle Paul reached after and desired to attain, Phil. 3:10.

Such a knowledge of Christ as conforms us more to him, and endears him more to us, must needs be of great use to us, to preserve us from falling off in times of general apostasy; and those who experience this effect of the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will, upon receiving such grace from him, give thanks and praise to him, and join with our apostle in saying, To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Hat tips to all links.

For I am persuaded…

February 27, 2016

A blogging friend of mine on his private blog recently wrote about the fact that it seems as though politicians need to put on a disguise in order to appeal to the ideology of the voters that they want to attract to their campaign.

In a recent discussion with my 28 yr. old daughter, she told me that she doesn’t like any of the presidential candidates on either side!  However, she hasn’t studied their ideologies or campaigns yet.  I encouraged her to do that.  Sometimes it comes down to choosing the lesser of two evils.

When another celebrity (Arnold S.) ran for governor of California I could not vote for him.  Instead, I voted for Tom McClintock.  Tom didn’t win the election but I have never regretted that particular vote; especially with how horrible Arnold was as governor and the scandals he was involved in.

I have observed over the years that the same need for disguising oneself is often true of judges. We have found that the Supreme Court judges that were nominated and confirmed by Republican presidents in the past have often turned out not to be as conservative as they previously claimed!

Recently I read about a secret meeting between 0zero and Justice Scalia just hours before his death. In another blog thread (need to find it) there was evidence of a “cease and desist” order which threatened against people reporting this or blogging about it!

79% of Americans believe with great certainty that there absolutely was foul play involved! The criminality of this BADministration is so blatantly evil it hurts my heart, mind, and soul to even think about it anymore! What’s more, they don’t even hide their pact with Satan!

WND:
Obama picks side in ‘hail Satan’ abortion fight

Administration to argue on behalf of industry against safety regulations for women

We are certainly in the throes of the end times! The evidence is so clear and all around us! Thank God for Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior for we know Who wins in the end!

God’s written Word, the Bible, and God’s Living Word, Jesus Christ comfort us through all the pain and suffering in this fallen world!  Nothing can touch my spirit because Jesus Christ has promised me (as well as all those born-again in Christ) that He will never leave me or forsake me!


Rom 8:38

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

Rom 8:39

nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Hat tip:  My friend Steve!

Hat tips to all links.

Mary Did You Know?

December 28, 2015

One of the most beautiful songs ever written about Jesus Christ is “Mary Did You Know?”  It not only covers the birth of Christ but includes the future miracles done by our Messiah and the purpose for which he came to us in the form of a pure Child to save people from their sins.

 

If video doesn’t play here, please view on Youtube:

Mary Did You Know? by Pentatonix.

 

This video has been viewed over 57 million times!

Lyrics:

[Verse 1]
Mary did you know that your baby boy will some day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.

[Verse 2]
Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

Oh Mary did you know

The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb

[Verse 3]
Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I Am!

What ever information Mary had, or did not have, we know what her two responses and one question was to the angel who came to her with the glorious news.

Luk 1:26

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,

Luk 1:27

to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.

Luk 1:28

And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” [fn]

Luk 1:29

But when she saw him, [fn] she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.

Luk 1:30

Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

Luk 1:31

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.

Luk 1:32

“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.

Luk 1:33

“And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Luk 1:34

Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

Luk 1:35

And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

Mary’s response?

Luk 1:38

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Truly a woman of great faith! The end result would be that her Baby Boy that she delivered would one day deliver her – as well as all who believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!

This is not only a beautiful Christmas song – it is a song that reminds us daily of our desperate need for Jesus who saves people from their sins.

Another woman (Elizabeth) of great faith (who was filled with the Holy Spirit) had the following verses to say to Mary when her baby (John the Baptist) leaped in her womb upon the greeting of Mary!

Luk 1:39

Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah,

Luk 1:40

and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth.

Luk 1:41

And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Luk 1:42

Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

Luk 1:43

“But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

Luk 1:44

“For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

Luk 1:45

“Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

It was after Elizabeth spoke with the guidance of the Holy Spirit that Mary understood much more!

Luk 1:46

And Mary said:

“My soul magnifies the Lord,

Luk 1:47

And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

Luk 1:48

For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.

Luk 1:49

For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.

Luk 1:50

And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.

Luk 1:51

He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

Luk 1:52

He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.

Luk 1:53

He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.

Luk 1:54

He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,

Luk 1:55

As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”

One comment sums it all up quite well:

dotrocka1 Dec 30, 2014 at 8:38 pm

It has become increasingly clear to me that at the cross, every aspect of the character of God, His holiness, His righteousness, His justice, His wrath, His love, His mercy, His grace, all converged at one point in time, accomplishing our redemption. Between this awareness and the song, Mary Did You Know, This Christmas I was in a nearly constant state of worship. It’s too big to put into words, but thank you for this song that sums up the purpose of Christ’s coming so well.

Amen!

Little Miracles

December 22, 2015

 

Have you ever seen, heard of, or experienced a spiritual message from God?  I have!   They are not easily forgotten and when I share them with other believers, they often share a little miracle with me that had happened to them.

Today, a blogger in my Reader feed shared how prayer healed a young girl of a tumor. Now THAT’S a huge miracle! Praise God and His Son, Jesus Christ, for that answer to prayer!

I have experienced both little miracles and spiritual messages in my life. When I shared my journey to Christ years ago at my former blog, I left out an early miracle that had happened when I was a teenager.

I lived in N.J. back then. Shortly after getting my license to drive, I asked my parents if I could take the old station wagon down the shore with one of my female friends from high school. They said no. My parents went away that weekend and so I decided to disobey them and drive down the shore anyway.

As I recall, the houses that we visited were filled with drunk teenagers and it wasn’t much fun. My friend was hoping to find this guy that she was crazy about, and I don’t recall whether or not he was at any of the parties we attended. I knew that I would be driving to the house where we would stay the night so I didn’t drink alcohol. By the time my friend was ready to leave, it was 1:00 a.m. and it was raining.

I was driving through a green lighted intersection on a divided highway.   The road had two lanes in each direction. I was chatting with my friend, looking straight ahead when all of a sudden she turned to look at me and grabbed my arm, pulling me hard over towards her seat. Suddenly, we were hit broadside on my driver’s side with a loud crashing sound!   We  began spinning around on the slick highway. I was screaming! It felt like an eternity before the car banged up against the right side curb and came to a stop. I continued to scream and cry.  My friend was hurt. She had hit the windshield with her forehead and a little blood trickled down her face. Glass was strewn about inside the car.  Her knee banged up under the passenger side dash board. We sat there for the longest time waiting for someone to come along and get us out of the car. The station wagon was totaled in the crash! I can still remember sitting on the curb weeping and saying, “my parents are going to kill me!” I worried more and more about what they would say and do once they found out that I had disobeyed them and had taken the station wagon down the shore when they had forbid me not to.

When the police and paramedics arrived, I recall hearing several of them saying, “It’s a miracle that the driver wasn’t killed.” This made me shudder in the rain and cold night air even more! My friend Debbie was taken to the hospital as a precaution for observation. Hours later, my parents showed up to take me home. Of course, they were very glad that I wasn’t seriously hurt. My neck bothered me a bit and my back ached days later, but there was not a scratch on me.

The next day, the man at the repair shop where the station wagon was towed gave my dad his evaluation. It was totaled. Then, he said something else. “It’s a miracle that the driver of this car wasn’t killed.”

I had heard this several times and now it was irking me! I wasn’t a born again Christian yet at this point in my life.  Within my teenage arrogant thoughts at the time I said to myself, “why is everyone saying that?!”

Years later, I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I started to look at this incident in a completely different way. I realized that if Debbie had not been looking my way, she would have never seen the car running the red light and heading towards the station wagon. I also thought about the fact that seat belts were not mandatory yet back in the 1970’s. This was another reason why I wasn’t killed. Debbie was able to grab me and pull me across the bench seat towards her so that the mangled side of the wagon didn’t impale me. Being an old vehicle, the steel frame that separated the front from the back seats took the brunt of the impact. However, if I had been in the driver seat instead of pulled away by my friend, that v-shaped steel frame would have gone right into my flesh.

I know. Some people may not consider this a “miracle,” but I do. I think that one of God’s angels was in the car that night, protecting me from deadly harm! Of course I can’t prove this, but recalling all of the events of that horrible night causes me to pause and thank the Lord for His mercy and protection!

Another incident and one of the most riveting moments of my life happened when my dad was dying of mesothelioma – an inoperable lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure. You can read about that in my Remembering Dad post.

I often thought, why did God spare me and not others? Was it because He knew that my journey to Christ was down the road of my life and for this reason He protected me during that dreadful accident? Was it because my destiny was laid out for me and I was meant to marry, have two children, and (so-far) one grandchild?

These are questions that we can only answer with faith on this side of heaven! If you read my journey to Christ, you would have seen that my life included some tragic circumstances.

Jesus told us:

Jhn 16:33

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you willfn have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Galatians 5 informs us that the fruit of the Spirit does contain one negative – that of longsuffering.

Gal 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Gal 5:23

gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Gal 5:24

And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Gal 5:25

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

The ultimate end of the suffering portions of my life was that God saw me through them and they all actually ended up strengthening my faith in Christ!

There is a quote from Dr. David Jeremiah that seems appropriate to share here. He said:

“God’s man or woman in the center of God’s will is immortal until God is finished with him or her.”

I think that Jeremiah’s quote is in line with Roman’s 8.

Our lives on this earth are but a brief moment in time compared to eternity! As Isaiah 64:6 tells us, “we all fade as a leaf” in our earthly existence.   Yet, Romans 8:37-39 tells us the rest of the story because Christ is our ultimate hope!

Rom 8:37

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Rom 8:38

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come

Rom 8:39

nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In closing, I want to take this opportunity to wish all of my readers and visitors to this blog a Merry and Blessed Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

In Christ’s service,

~Christine

Hat tips to all links.

Man has lived in darkness and needed a way out!

November 28, 2015

I was thinking about the differences between the colors known as black and white. Often, the question arises about whether or not they are actual “colors.”
Color Matters gives us the answer:

The answer to the question – “Are black and white colors?” – is one of the most debated issues about color. Ask a scientist and you’ll get a reply based on physics: “Black is not a color, white is a color.” Ask an artist or a child with crayons and you’ll get another: “Black is a color, white is not a color.” (Maybe!)

There are four sections on that page that present the best answers.

In line with the purposes here, I would like to share one of them.

1. Black is the absence of color (and is therefore not a color)

Explanation:
When there is no light, everything is black. Test this out by going into a photographic dark room. There are no photons of light. In other words, there are no photons of colors.

2. White is the blending of all colors and is a color.

Explanation:
Light appears colorless or white. Sunlight is white light that is composed of all the colors of the spectrum.  A rainbow is proof. You can’t see the colors of sunlight except when atmospheric conditions bend the light rays and create a rainbow. You can also use a prism to demonstrate this.

Fact: The sum of all the colors of light add up to white. This is additive color theory.

The Bible discusses darkness (black) and light (white). We can start with Genesis:

Gen 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Gen 1:2

The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was [fn] on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Gen 1:3

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

Gen 1:4

And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.

Gen 1:5

God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

We see that the “light” was good (according to God) and that God divided the light from the darkness. At this point, man had not sinned, so “darkness” was not yet associated with sin, evil and death.

Since the Fall of Adam and Eve,

Note what is written in the book of Jeremiah:

Jer 17:9

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?

I recall a non-Christian’s reaction to that verse when it was spoken of within a sermon while he was a visitor at our church.  Apparently, he rejects the fact that the heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked.

After the sermon, I looked up the verse after it and he seemed pleased by this particular verse.

Jer 17:10

I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.

I can only imagine that he thought this was a fair deal from God.  However, when Jesus came along He stated that something as simple as a lie causes us to be “of your father the devil.”

No wonder non-Christians often hate and reject Jesus!  Who wants to be told this?  No one!  But it’s the truth, nonetheless.

Jhn 8:44

“You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

We see from Psalm 92:15 that the LORD does not have any unrighteousness in Him.  He is upright.  He is my rock.

Psa 92:15

To declare that the LORD is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

During this time, the world was still waiting for the Savior, the promised Messiah in Scripture.

The Bible says that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary.  He was later proclaimed by the Father to be God’s Son as he started his 3 year earthly ministry.   We read about this account in Matthew 3.

Mat 3:17

And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

(More accounts of God the Father’s proclamation regarding Jesus being His Son at end of post.)

Jesus was with God the Father and the Holy Spirit (also called the Trinity) in the beginning.  At my former Talk Wisdom blog, I have shared how the Three Persons in One God is evident all around us within Creation in a post entitled, The Trinity All Around You.

We see the purpose of Jesus Christ being born sinless so that He had the power to take away our sins.

1Jo 3:5

And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.

We see that His death on the cross, the battle against darkness and evil in the grave, and His resurrection to life was for the purpose of saving us from the grip of the devil through the salvation  of our souls.

 

1Jo 2:2

And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

The darkness that we have known is passing away because the true light of salvation through Jesus Christ is already shining.

1Jo 2:8

Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

Those who hate others (and we see such hatred leading to death almost nightly on the news) are in darkness!

1Jo 2:9

He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.

1 John 2:10 describes how to stay in the light and avoid stumbling.

1Jo 2:10

He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.

So much of the killings, immorality, evil, sin, and death are perpetuated by those who hate and walk in darkness.  Why?  Because their eyes have been blinded by the darkness.

1Jo 2:11

But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

As Christians, we are to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Plant seeds in the hearts of others.  God does the saving!

I pray that the following link will help you:

How To Know God Personally

Hat tips to all links.

*******

Endnotes:

The Father proclaiming Jesus as His Son:

Mat 3:17

And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Mat 17:5

While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”
Mar 8:38
“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Mar 9:7
And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”
Luk 9:35
And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son.fn Hear Him!”
Luk 15:24
‘for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
Act 13:33

“God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm:

‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
fn


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Discipleship for Christian Women

The Acceptable Digest

"Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it ..." Song of Solomon 8:7

On the Edge Again

Life happens. I hope to encourage everyone in bad times!

Cooking with Kathy Man

Celebrating delicious and healthy food

Talk Wisdom

Talk Wisdom's goal is to defend the tenets and values of Biblical Christian faith. We defend our Constitutional Republic and Charters of Freedom, especially when speaking out against destructive social and political issues. As followers of our Savior and Lord, we should boldly stand up for Jesus Christ in our present circumstances. He is our Savior, Lord, and King, and His love needs to be shed abroad in our hearts and in our world - now.

WINTERY KNIGHT

...integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Cry and Howl

Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off. I Kings 20:11

pastorwardclinton

Pastor Ward Clinton is a pastor in the Church of The Nazarene and author of a handful of books.

GraceLife Blog

Thoughts About God's Amazing Grace

True Discernment

2 Timothy 4:3-4

Eternity Matters

We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Centinel2012

De Oppresso Liber

The Oil for Your Lamp

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hosea 4:6)

Walter Bright

Refining theological understanding. Sharpening ethical rigor. Heightening devotional intensity.

Kingsjester's Blog

Opinions from a Christian American Conservative

As Seen Through the Eyes of Faith

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17) KJV

Daniel B. Wallace

Executive Director of CSNTM & Senior Research Professor of NT Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary

The Master's Table

God honoring, Christ Centered

Truth2Freedom's Blog

"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" - George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their tabloid news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting - this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

Citizen WElls

Obama eligibility, Obama news

drkatesview

Thoughts on Our Constitutional Republic

We the People of the United States

Fighting the Culture War, One Skirmish at a Time

partneringwitheagles

WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS (LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT...

Be Sure You're RIGHT, Then Go Ahead

"Our threat is from the insidious forces working from within which have already so drastically altered the character of our free institutions — those institutions we proudly called the American way of life. " -- Gen. Douglas MacArthur

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.