Posts Tagged ‘Love’

Leaders Can Be Either a Blessing or a Punishment

January 12, 2017

Yesterday, I had some time in the morning to watch the hearing on Rex Tillerson’s appointment to be the next Secretary of State.  I wasn’t able to watch all of it (had to go for a follow-up root canal appointment…ugh!), but what I did watch and then observe through news broadcasts later made me both proud of Tillerson and absolutely cringe at his detractors!  It was expected that the Dems would try to trip up Rex and rip his nomination bid apart.  But when a GOPe harpylike devourer Rubio comes along and tries to act more intelligent than the nominee (but then gets destroyed by Tillerson’s great response) it’s even more painful to watch.

Marco Rubio needs to grow up…A LOT…before he ever runs for president again. On second thought, I don’t think he should ever run for president!

Tillerson’s response to all of his detractors yesterday (at least the ones I saw before I watched Trump’s press conference) were all brilliant!
I wonder…how many readers here and others are noticing what I have noticed? I now see many (not all) politicians as ignorant or definitely biased in either their thinking or ideology; whereas those who have been successful in business (like Trump and Tillerson) have much more intelligence, savvy, knowledge and proper demeanor on how the world REALLY is and how to work successfully with our allies! They also have the smarts to not jump to conclusions regarding our enemies and are more thoughtful and wise in how to deal with them.

Perhaps it has been the eight long years of hubris and deceit under Barry’s BADministration that has caused many politicians to lose their minds?!  But I think that it probably is more likely that they were really on the other side and “secretly” agreed with Barry and HiLIARy.  Unconscionable…to say the least!

God saw fit to enable Trump to win the presidency.  However, should we go so far as this man (now deceased – God rest his soul) did in his “prophetic” ideas regarding Trump?

See: WND: Did This Man Predict Trump Presidency in 2007?

I liked one response written by “Informed” to the article that reads:

Informed • an hour ago

God is sovereign. He grants us leaders to be a blessing and a punishment. Whether Trump is more blessing or more punishment will not be known for a long time. I pray he brings much more respect for God’s moral truth, some good sense and efficiency to our delusional, self worshiping, wasteful and inefficient federal government.

Yes.  We will have to wait and see whether Trump will be “more a blessing or more punishment.”  We have already experienced punishment via the outgoing BADministration!  I second “Informed’s” prayer and sentiment!

It will be very interesting to see what an ordinary American businessman can achieve in the position of President of the United States.  A majority of Americans are absolutely fed up with career politicians who make promises that they don’t ever intend to keep!

Career politicians (like John McCain) are being revealed for what they are…in government for their own gain!   See Lame Cherry’s latest post about McCain!  Chilling…

Hat tips to all links.

*******

1Pe 2:4

Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,

1Pe 2:5

you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

1Pe 2:6

Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,

“Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”[fn]

1Pe 2:7

Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,[fn]

“The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone,”[fn]

1Pe 2:8

and

“A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”[fn]
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

1Pe 2:9

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

1Pe 2:10

who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

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One Thing Remains…

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Commenter suggests: I should “apologize to all the people [I’ve] lied to over the years, and then shut down this blog.”

May 1, 2016

A commenter here at this blog took issue with what was written in this post and then proceeded to suggest that I “apologize to all the people [I’ve] lied to over the years, and then shut down this blog.”

Since this person has been commenting at several sites I have had over the course of ten years, I asked him:

But then…if I did as you requested…what would you do with yourself when you no longer have me here to give you the opportunity to rail against the True God of the Bible?

Luk 10:16
“He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”

When Jesus was asked “who is my neighbor?”

See Luke 10:29-37

Back to my comment:

I was awoken last night at 11:30 p.m. because one of our dogs was agitated and barking. He most likely heard a coyote howling in a nearby yard. I turned on the outside lights, waited a bit, looked around the yard with my flashlight and then let the dogs out to do their business. Sometimes it’s difficult to go back to sleep after that, so while I made myself a cup of tea, I checked my email and saw his comment.

[Note: Visitors can scroll down and read the entire comment HERE.]

This is what I thought about saying to him while I was drinking my tea last night:

Wow…for someone who holds equal hatred towards the True God of the Bible (and rejects His Son, Jesus Christ for salvation) as well as the false god of Islam, how could you know what true, genuine, agape love is and what is required of us in return?

Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?

Jeremiahs 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.

About the love issue.  The Bible tells us:

Jhn 15:13
 
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

 

Continuing with what I wrote in answer to that comment:

 

Rejection of this greater love puts you and all who reject Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in the same boat.

As for the likes of Zuckerberg? I would never trust a person like him who labels his so-called “followers” on FB as “dumb f***s” and plays “god” over them by manipulating them in various ways via the site; as well as his blatantly evil use of employees to be told to spy on FB users and misuse his “authority” in order to control their free speech as well as dismissing their privacy concerns.

The pride of life is the oldest sin in the world. It is especially egregious when it’s used against God and used as a weapon against His redeemed.

I would suggest that you also read Jeremiah 17:11-13.

Jeremiah 17:14 has some advice for both you and him.

This morning, I watched the final sermon in an awesome series about “The Seven Churches of the Revelation” by Dr. David Jeremiah entitled, A Look Into Heaven.

I am often amazed that the Lord provides for me the right answers to situations that I encounter.  I am humbled when He graciously leads me to His Word to counter statements that non-believers might say or write against me.

In this instance where you would accuse me of “going off the rails” and tell me “to apologize and shut this blog down,” I’d have to say that the look into heaven that I heard this morning gave me an even better perspective (and answer) than the one that I just shared above. God has a great way of doing that for His own!

Now, I’m sure that you would not take the time to watch the entire segment. But I place a link to it here for anyone who reads this thread and would like to view and hear the sermon. Dear readers! If you do take the time – you will be truly blessed today!!!

I came away from hearing and listening to that particular sermon and the following verses came to my mind.  They certainly compliment the Scriptures that have already been shared and add far more wisdom than my initial response.   I praise my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for enabling the Holy Spirit to lead my mind to them!

Pro 1:7

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Psa 111:10

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.
His praise endures forever.

Pro 9:10

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

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.

There’s One Way to Peace…

September 15, 2015

This morning, I ran across a worship song and music video that sounded vaguely familiar.  However, the lyrics were a bit different.

Then, I recalled that another longer version of the song was often sung at the church’s children’s AWANA program!  I was an AWANA leader for three years back when my now-adult daughter attended.   It has probably been over 20 years since I have heard this beautiful song!

If the music video does not play at this blog, please go to the Youtube link:

Youtube: His Banner Over Me is Love.

The children’s version contained the following additional lyrics:

The Lord is mine and I am His,
His banner over me is love.
The Lord is mine and I am His,
His banner over me is love.
The Lord is mine and I am His,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

He brought me to His banqueting table,
His banner over me is love.
He brought me to His banqueting table,
His banner over me is love.
He brought me to His banqueting table,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

He lifted me up into heavenly places,
His banner over me is love.
He lifted me up into heavenly places,
His banner over me is love.
He lifted me up into heavenly places,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

He is the vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
He is the vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
He is the vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

Jesus is the rock of my salvation,
His banner over me is love.
Jesus is the rock of my salvation,
His banner over me is love.
Jesus is the rock of my salvation,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

There’s one way to peace through the power of the cross,
His banner over me is love,
There’s one way to peace through the power of the cross,
His banner over me is love,
There’s one way to peace through the power of the cross,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

*******

Yes!  There IS ONE WAY TO PEACE – and it is through Jesus Christ and the power of the Cross!

The text from the song comes from the Song of Solomon:

Sng 2:4

The Shulamite to the Daughters of Jerusalem
He brought me to the banqueting house,
And his banner over me was love.

The beautiful commentary HERE describes how this Scripture applies to Jesus Christ, our Bridegroom for eternity, and His Church – the Bride.

The banqueting table spoken of in the song can also be applied towards the future marriage supper of the Lamb as recorded and described in Revelation 19.
Rev 19:9

Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”

 

Hat tips to all links.

The most thought provoking blog comment ever

September 9, 2015

That is a terrific comment! Beautifully biblical, uplifting, and Christ centered!

The Isaiah 53:5 Project

image

A reader and fellow blogger, Dave left a comment here yesterday that deserves its own post.

“As you grow the Isaiah 53:5 Project, I hope you remember that one honest connection with another might be all you’re called to. Drop Christ and you help no one. Keep Christ in your heart and you are ready to help whomever is sent your way.”

I don’t think it needs any additional commentary, it’s awesome food for thought on its own.

View original post

Love Also Warns

August 24, 2015

This morning, I read an excellent essay entitled “Love Wins but Love Also Warns” written by Michael Brown over at Charisma News.

I suggest reading the article in its entirety at the link above. However, here are some important excerpts:

Love wins.

Understood rightly, it is gloriously true.

Love won on the cross, when God sent His Son to die for the sins of the world, repaying our evil deeds with the supreme act of sacrificial love.

[Love] will win in the end, as forever and ever, the Father’s family will enjoy His incredible goodness in a world without sin and suffering.

 

[But] love also warns. In fact, love that does not warn is not love at all.

The parent who doesn’t warn a chain-smoking child about the dangers of nicotine is not a loving parent.

The doctor who doesn’t warn a morbidly obese patient about the dangers of overeating is not a loving doctor.

The preacher who doesn’t warn his straying flock about the dangers of spiritual compromise is not a loving pastor.

Love warns with tears.

Love warns with brokenness.

Love warns with longsuffering.

Love warns.

That’s why Jesus wept in public as He warned Jerusalem about the terrible judgment that was at the door (Luke 19:41-45).

That’s why Jeremiah wept in secret when the nation refused to hear his warnings of impending disaster (Jer. 13:17).

[In] the words of the book of Proverbs, “Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. … He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue” (Prov. 27:5-6; 28:23).

We are not called to tickle people’s ears and make them feel good. We are called to speak the truth in love, to have hearts of compassion and backbones of steel, to emulate the true prophets not the false prophets, to do the right thing rather than the convenient thing.

Oh that God would deliver us from a crippling, compromising, man-pleasing mentality!

[It] is true that love is patient and kind and is not irritable or rude (1 Cor. 13:4-7).

It is true that love does no harm to its neighbor (Rom. 13:10).

And it is true that, rightly understood, love wins.

But love wins because love warns, and if we walk in true love for God and our neighbor, we will warn.

 

Individuals who are reluctant to commit to any particular worldview often pick and choose what they like about different worldviews. The bad thing about this is that they aren’t really bothered if such ideas contradict each other. The only thing that counts in their own minds is “what works for you.” However, as will be demonstrated in the video below of an encounter between actress Ellen Page (who self-identifies as lesbian) and presidential candidate, Ted Cruz (a Christian), is that “what works for her” is more important; and in her mind obviously trumps,  anything and everything that works for Christian believers like Ted.

People like Page have the notion and belief that “any one system cannot possibly contain all truth.” This is a relativistic worldview which enables a person like Page to ignore, dismiss, hate, and even disparage biblical truth in order to keep her own way of thinking intact. Such attitudes and beliefs stem from secular humanism, postmodernism, and even the New Age movement.

The LGBT agenda movement HAS to attack and disparage the truth of the Bible because the Bible explicitly condemns their behavior – calling them to repent of their sin and  to be saved by the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary.  Once a man or woman commits to Jesus as their Lord and Savior, we want to keep the Commandments of God because we love Him.  To those who refuse to believe in Christ, it is offensive to think that way.

Here is the video of the encounter:

[H/T Pumabydesign for sharing the video.]

What is interesting to me is the fact that at the end of the discussion with Cruz, Page absolutely refuses to ADMIT that they agree on one point regarding 0bama’s silence about ISIS Muslims and radical Islamic Shias in Iran and across the Middle East who are executing and throwing homosexuals off buildings because their  sexual orientation and behavior has been discovered!

My question for readers who are up to the challenge is why was it necessary for her to do that?

Hat tip: Charisma News

Headlines Cause Us to Eagerly Await Christ’s Return for His Own

July 29, 2015

My blogging friend Black3Actual has two posts up that every person who happens to come to this blog should read today!

Oil For Your Lamp: UNDERSTANDING SCRIPTURE: God’s Love Will NOT Save You From Hell!

Within the post, Rob Bell is described as an “ex-pastor” who now falls more in line with those teaching heresy because this ex-pastor does not adhere to the full Gospel of Jesus Christ. As our author at the link excellently points out, Bell is more of an “itching ears” type of preacher. [See 2 Timothy 4:3-4]

Myths like Bell’s views do not save ANYONE. In fact, he is guilty of turning people to the wayside where they will miss the true totality of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and thus end up lost for all eternity. It REALLY MATTERS who you listen to in this day and age of deception!

Next, Black3Actual wrote a post entitled News Headlines Affirm OYL Posts: Islam Working Toward End Of Days!.

Excerpt:

I have written about the importance of the black flags of Islam and how the Obama/Iran deal is setting the stage for Christ’s return.  I am fully aware that those who do not believe the Bible do not believe what I have been trying to explain, but I cannot help them.  They have chosen to remain willfully ignorant.  For those who wish to see and understand, the signs are coming more often and more clearly every day.  Just this week the news has started to affirm and support everything I have been trying to explain.  This story is just one such example:

Islamic State recruitment document seeks to provoke ‘end of the world’

Whether you believe in Bible or Islamic prophecy or not, ISIS does and it is working to bring about the fulfillment of their prophecies.  Ignoring them is no different from the Allies ignoring the clear declarations by Hitler of what he intended to do.

Read the rest: News Headlines Affirm OYL Posts: Islam Working Toward End Of Days!.

Oil For Your Lamp is a blog that I highly recommend as a daily read! Add the link to your favorites so that visitors to your own blogs will find this Holy Spirit led writer’s posts!

The Gospel of Christ can be revealed and understood by a child!

Mat 11:25

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

Mat 19:14

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Mat 18:3

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

However, once a person trusts in Christ and is saved, the next step is the study of Scripture (including knowing about end times prophecy) for it is a life-long endeavor!  We have “never arrived” while here on this earth regarding the Wisdom, Knowledge, Mercy, Grace, Forgiveness and the All Encompassing Love of God!  However, the Bible tells us that one day we will know!

1Jo 3:2

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

There are certain individuals who will not heed the warnings that Christians are sharing. However, we know that there will be (and are, right now!) a remnant who are born-again in Christ.  We also can celebrate the fact that there are Christians who are well-informed regarding Bible prophecy. We are heeding what Jesus told us regarding “the signs of the times” and sharing this information with the lost.

My hope is that there will be many more who are quickened by the Holy Spirit of God, knocking on the door of their hearts,  to come to repentance at the cross of Christ. Only His shed blood can… not just “cover” sins temporarily as was the purpose of the shed blood of unblemished animals in the Old Testament… but permanently take away our sins!  Belief in Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life;  for only He provides the mercy and grace in order to be reconciled back unto God.

Jesus Christ was the final sacrifice for sins, and His resurrection back unto life proves His claim that He is the Son of God, the Messiah who was long awaited throughout biblical history. Jesus Christ brings us back unto God for the “it is finished” forgiveness that we all so desperately need!

As we eagerly await Christ’s return for His own (the Rapture), we need to preach the true Gospel, watch for the signs of the times, work for His kingdom, and evangelize those who do not know Him. All that we can do is share the Gospel, as Jesus instructed us to do just before His ascension into heaven.

It is God, through the work of the Holy Spirit, who ultimately does the saving!  He will be with us ALWAYS – even unto the end of the world!

Hat tip:
Oil For Your Lamp

Please see:

How To Know God Personally.

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.” – Gandhi

July 7, 2015

Years ago, I ran across a post that contained a statement attributed to Gandhi at another blog:

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Ouch!

At first glance it is a most sobering condemnation against those of the Christian faith. Granted, Christians make mistakes while trying to witness to others. Jesus chose his followers, imperfect human beings that we are, to be his representatives here on earth. We are to spread the Gospel message throughout the world.

We have a whole range of evangelists. A preacher like Billy Graham who has been an awesome representative for Christ and we have other preachers who may be hurting our cause. But God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. The reason Billy Graham is loved by millions and rarely, if ever, condemned for his preaching is because he focuses on Jesus Christ and the Gospel message.

This, then, makes me wonder. Should Gandhi have been judging his personal decision regarding Jesus Christ only upon Christs’ followers (whom he disliked and condemned) or should he have made the judgment strictly upon Jesus Christ and who He is as revealed in the Scriptures?  Tim Challies has a great answer to that question.

Another popular argument of non-Christians is their claim that because there are so many denominations that conflict with each other, how is one to find the truth?

There are certain facts that tie and bind all true Christians.

1.  The first one is the fact that we have been born again in Christ. In order to be born again in Christ, we confess and repent of our sins and invite Jesus into our lives to guide us into all truth. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit reminds us of what Jesus taught and refers us to the Scriptures.

2.  The second fact is that we teach Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

When the movie “The Passion of the Christ” came out, there were many different denominations in agreement on most aspects of that movie. You could name any Protestant, Evangelical, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, (can include many others too) branch of Christianity here and it is the one thing that they all agree upon.

Why is that?

Because at Pentecost, Jesus sent the Helper, that is, the Holy Spirit. He guides Christians into all truth. The side issues and traditions that may divide the denominations fall away.

It all comes down to this: the Gospel message is the uniter of all true Christians.

We must “beware the ‘cross-less’ Gospel.”* [See explanation at end of post.]

Those “churches” who do not teach the need for repentance for sin are guilty of heresy. Yes. There are some sects/cults that are “severed branches,” if you will. We are told in the book of Jude to avoid them because they lead people into heresy and apostasy. This is why you must be diligent and read the Scriptures so you can “rightly divide the Word of Truth!” If you are attending a church that teaches “the cross-less Gospel,” run! Find another church immediately!

I have met many born-again, Bible believing Christians via message boards and blogs. Genuine Christians whom I have never met personally, are in full agreement with the main message of the Scriptures. You see, there is a difference between those who would use exegesis, hermeneutics and Sola Scripture (which are tools to extract the original meaning of the writers in the Bible) vs. those who use “eisegesis,” (which means determining their own interpretations) of what Scripture is saying.

We see “eisegesis” being utilized very vividly in the homosexual behavior affirming churches. The only people who have been caught up in the sin of homosexuality (or any other sin, for that matter) and will make it into heaven with God are the repentant ones.

Even repentant murderers who confess and are born again after their crimes and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior avoid hell and will live for eternity in heaven with God.

In eyes of men, that may not seem “fair.” But the thoughts of God are infinitely higher and are certainly not limited to the thoughts of man.

“While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

God affords grace and mercy to those who look upon Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death as the only substitutionary propitiation which is acceptable to God the Father for the forgiveness of their sins.

People who know Jesus and become children of God will avoid the penalty of death (the second death…an eternity away from God in hell).

The unsaved who refuse the quickening of the Holy Spirit, (who is urging them from outside their souls to make that decision for Christ) will die with their own sins on their souls. That is the choice for all of mankind. We either agree with God that we are sinners who are desperately in need of the Savior, Jesus Christ, or we die in our sins and remain reprobate and separated from the God who is trying to save us…forever.

Eternity is a long, long….time!

Dear reader, what is your decision?

I pray that you change your heart towards God!  If you are currently of the mindset that leads you to “hate Christians,” I plead with you not to let Satan use your obvious dislike and hatred for many Christian believers as an excuse to reject Jesus. Knowingly or unknowingly, Satan is influencing you to focus on the behavior of other Christians and not on Whom you should be focusing on…Jesus Christ. Jesus was the only Perfect Man who ever lived. You won’t find perfection in anyone else…including Christian believers.

Once born again, a Christian does not have his/her free will taken away. We still live in a fallen world and have that fallen nature. The huge difference is, he/she has the added influence of the Holy Spirit indwelling within the soul to guide us into all truth. Our love for Jesus compels us to live righteously for Him because He alone is Holy. If you would focus on what is being shared about Christ, and not judge the person who is sharing it, then you will not let a Christian’s imperfect nature affect you so negatively.

My daughter once gave me a license plate frame for my car which poignantly reads: “Christians are not perfect;  just forgiven by a God who is.

*******

*Beware the Cross-less Gospel

by Roger Chilvers

I watched a television program that featured interviews with a number of people at a well-known evangelical church. One person after the another gave testimony about how their lives had been changed: “I came to this church and was thrilled about what I saw. God changed my life.” Someone else said, “I was a drug addict, and God dealt with that.” Every testimony mentioned God, but in that whole program Jesus was mentioned only once. What Christ did on the cross was not mentioned at all.

In preaching today, generally speaking, the cross hardly features – sometimes Jesus doesn’t even feature. We have a duty to make the cross of Christ central in our evangelism. The Bible says that the cross is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles (1 Corinthians 1:23). The Jews thought, “How could anyone preach about the Messiah DYING ON A CROSS? Don’t the Scriptures say that anyone who dies on a cross is cursed by God?” As for Gentiles – who didn’t have or care about the Old Testament Scriptures – the whole idea was complete foolishness. The verse uses the Greek word moros, from which we get “moron.” You have to be a moron to preach and believe in a dying Savior. Can you see the temptation to put the cross off to the side?

Sometimes you hear people say, quite rightly, “Jesus will give you a purpose for living.” Without a doubt he does, but that is not why He came. Others say that He came as a good example to follow. He is the greatest example to follow, but again, that is not at the heart of why He came, “Jesus came to give us joy in a world of unhappiness and misery,” some say. But that was not why He came either. And great though His peace is, He didn’t come to give us peace.

John tells us why Jesus came: “He appeared so that he might take away our sins” (1 John 3:5, NIV). We need reminding of this. Otherwise, in our evangelism we may say, “Have some peace, have some joy, have some happiness, have a purpose for living, have an example to follow.” Although Jesus does give these things, they are not the central point. We may find these things apart from Jesus, but apart from Him we will never find forgiveness of sins.

We can understand the centrality of the cross from three different perspectives: What does it mean to God? to us? to Satan?

THE CROSS FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE

The Bible says, “We have an advocate with the Father; Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:1-2, KJV). Propitiation is the means by which God’s anger is assuaged; His anger is dealt with, and God is made favorable toward us.

Some have said it is barbaric to think that God’s anger needs to be assuaged by blood. They say, “How can a sacrifice that makes an angry God favorable be given by the God who is angry in the first place? And what about God’s love?”

But it is precisely because God loves us that He had to deal with our sin – and it is on the basis of this that we are accepted. Jesus could die a thousand deaths and yet not achieve salvation for us unless God were satisfied with the sacrifice. Yet the question remains: How can God be both the One who provides the sacrifice that makes Him propitious and be the One who receives the sacrifice?

The simple answer is that God’s holiness demands propitiation.

God is blisteringly angry about our every single sin. You can see the awfulness of sin only by seeing what it did to His one and only lovely Son. If God looked at a sin and said, “Well, I’m not too bothered about that one,” there would be injustice in His character. God retains His honor by giving His Son.

God unfolded a plan that both showed His unbelievably strong anger at sin and His infinitely strong love for us. He sent His Son and punished Him on our behalf. “The Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14, NIV). No other message beside the cross is able to deal with the root problem of man’s sin in relation to the justice and holiness of God.

 

THE CROSS FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE

The heart of the Gospel is that through Jesus – and His work as our Substitute – God did for us what we could never do for ourselves. The punishment for our sin was dealt with by a substitute: Namely, Jesus. The Bible says, “When we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6, NIV). The Greek word translated “for” means “on behalf of.” The word is used repeatedly concerning Jesus: “While we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NIV).

In our evangelism it is so important that we grasp this because it tells us that when Jesus died on the cross He died on behalf of someone. There is no greater news than the glorious news that Jesus took our place on the cross. We are sinners by nature, but “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV). What a breathtaking verse!

THE CROSS FROM SATAN’S PERSPECTIVE

The Bible calls Satan “the accuser” in Revelation 12:10. He whispers, “You cannot possibly expect God to accept you. You have a disgusting imagination. Look at those things you’ve done – your deceitfulness, your hatred and bitterness. You call yourself a child of God? ” And to God, Satan says, in effect, “If You are just at all, You cannot possibly forgive his/her sins and accept him/her. Your justice demands that he/she be punished.”

But John tells us how such accusations are dealt with: “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1, KJV). Generally, an advocate will stand up before a judge and plead on behalf of the accused something like this, “My lord, yes, he is not perfect – he has failed- but he is now a kind and helpful citizen, and I am bringing witnesses to testify to his good character.” In so doing, the advocate pleads for the judge to be lenient.

Jesus, as our Advocate, doesn’t work that way. When Satan accuses, Jesus says to His Father, “Everything You said about him is true. He is wicked; he is sinful. There is not one good thing about him. But, Father, You cannot punish him because the punishment already has been paid – by Me.”

The Father looks to the sacrifice of the Son to see that the punishment was paid in full. Atonement made, acceptance guaranteed – and we are free. This is what is meant by Jesus being our Substitute.

“Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free,
For God, the Just, is satisfied,
To look on Him and pardon me.” **

Jesus provided for our greatest need – the forgiveness of sin. Apart from Him it could never happen. That is why the cross must be at the heart of our evangelism.

** From “Before the Throne of God Above,” by Charitie Lee Bancroft

Hat tips to all links.

All That’s Dead Inside – Can Be Reborn

February 23, 2015

Have you ever listened to an honest song of grief and lament which can turn your heart back to joy? That is what I have found via the lyrics and redemptive message of “Torn”  from Tenth Avenue North – a Contemporary Christian band. Do you know someone who might desperately need to hear this song’s message?

That is what happened to me during an hour and a half drive home last night.  I have heard this song played many times (it’s in the WOW 2014 Greatest Hits CD), but one person – in particular – came to mind and I wanted to share it with him.  But after going to the You tube site and seeing the 3,127,990 views of this video, I realized that there are probably hundreds of thousands who could benefit from hearing this song and understanding the lyrics pointing towards redemption of those with hurt lives and lost souls.

[Note: If video doesn’t work here, go to Youtube site at this link – Tenth Avenue North – Worn]

I have found that many people do not want to even talk about all of the evil, carnage, despair, and fear that is occurring these days here in America, and even more so all around the world.

Those who are willing to discuss what is happening as we catapult closer to the end times are often fellow Christians who know that “we are not of this world” and one day, the pain and suffering will end.

Those of us who have been redeemed by grace through faith – because of the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ at the cross of Calvary – know that Jesus’ resurrection from the grave  has provided proof of the hope and promise of salvation.  Therefore, it is up to us to spread the Gospel message to those who are still under the grip of the evil one.

In the Book of Revelation, we get a description of one of the 7 churches; the church at Sardis:

Rev 3:1

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

Rev 3:2

“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. [fn]
Rev 3:3

“Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.

Rev 3:4

“You [fn] have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.

This church serves as a description of The Parable of the Wheat and Tares.

Within the church at Sardis, there were “tares” among the wheat of the saved.  Today, there are some who think that they are saved because they attend church. But John wrote what “the Spirit says to the churches” on Patmos, and noted that some at the church of Sardis were dead. Others, were alive and told that “he who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments and I [Jesus] will not blog out his name from the Book of Life.”

Rev 3:5

“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

Jesus also said (through John’s writings) that, “I [He] will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”

So you see, there is no redemption without Christ!

Rev 3:6

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’

Jhn 3:3

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Jhn 3:7

“Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

There are many great comments at the You tube site – real people whose grief/depression/struggles/deadness inside turned  hearts previously torn and worn into mended souls!

Here are a few:

Tabitha Brooke  3 months ago

I love Tenth Avenue North and I can basically say this song saved my life. In 2013, I was depressed to the point I felt life didn’t have a purpose anymore. I was driving around at night, completely and utterly hopeless, flipping through the radio when this song played and I broke down and cried and it was like a hug from God and I listened to the words of this song and how closely they matched how I felt and let me tell you…redemption won, the struggle ended and God mended my heart. The song rose from the ashes of my broken heart and all that was dead inside was reborn and I am no longer worn. Thank you, Lord.

Aaron Bostelman

20 minutes ago

I used to think that Suicide was the answer, and it consumed my life. Parents that called me worthless all my life, drugs, smoking, abuse… All of it for satisfaction, and yet not one bit of it made me completely satisfied as I still had a missing gap in my heart. I too, was driving around in my car after I got the news of my Girlfriend that had killed herself. During an intersection I was hit by a drunk driver. I stepped out of my car covered in blood as well as a broken arm, and I just broke down right there on the spot. I cried so hard wishing I would die. Although I am still an Atheist, I am in fact reading the bible, and the more I read it, the more the gap in my heart is sealed. Just to let you know, you aren’t alone, and you certainly aren’t the person out there that has similar conflicts, Tabitha. Thanks for sharing!

Cynthia Scott  2 months ago

My brothers and sisters in Christ:

NEVER GIVE UP HOPE. JESUS WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU.

This song expresses very real, raw emotions as we go through storms in life. Please listen, especially if you have been fighting through a storm for some time and are worn, let this song renew your strength and remind you Who will get you through the storms of life, especially now as we face more persecution then ever. JESUS CAN MEND A HEART THAT’S FRAIL AND TORN.

Additional reading:

How To Become a Christian

Scripture: Born Again Believers

Scripture: Prayer of Salvation

 

SO HEAVEN COME AND FLOOD MY EYES!


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Conversely, failing to believe the truth doesn't make it a lie. The gospel is true because Jesus is true, not simply because Christians believe in Him. His resurrection proved the truth of His claims and constitutes the objective basis of our faith (Rom. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:3). Truth is our protection and strength (Eph. 6:14). Throughout history, people have tried everything imaginable to gain favor with God. Most turn to religion, but religion apart from Christ is merely a satanic counterfeit of the truth. At the heart of every false religion is the notion that man can come to God by any means he chooses--by meditating, doing good deeds, and so on. But Scripture says, "There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). That name is Jesus Christ, and we come to Him by confessing and repenting of our sin, trusting in His atoning death on the cross, and affirming His bodily resurrection from the grave (cf. Rom. 10:9-10). There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. The truth of the matter is “no one comes to the Father but by [Jesus].” 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

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