Posts Tagged ‘Savior Jesus Christ’

How Biblically Illiterate America is Being Deceived

September 24, 2018

Back in September of 2016, someone recommended that I should read a book entitled, “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment” by Eckhart Tolle.  In a previous post, I asked the question what do you think about Eckhart Tolle?   One of Talk Wisdom’s long time readers wrote that the book helped her and in her opinion, perhaps I was being too judgmental against the young man who had encouraged me to read it.

She wrote:

I decided to comment because I have read the power of now and I love it! I think it is a beautiful ode to Jesus’ teachings. I did not get anything but messages of love from it and I too felt compelled to share it as I share bible verses. I guess your post made me feel bad about that, as if I was somehow not as good of a Christian when this book has brought me nothing but joy and strength in my Christianity.

Of course, it isn’t my intention to harm anyone’s “joy and strength in [their] Christianity.”  However, we are warned in the book of Jude* that there will be “certain men [who] have crept in unnoticed” who are “ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God[fn] and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Readers can to go that previous link (above) to read the rest of the conversation.

Today, I read a very comprehensive post about Tolle and his book at CIC Ministry.org.

I need to acknowledge Truth 2 Freedom’s blog for sharing an excerpt from that commentary which led me to the CIC Ministry website.

First, I want to say that I understand that many people are on their own life’s journey and along the way, they may find themselves taking a “detour” while searching for truth.  Been there, done that!  I was raised in the Catholic church, and when I read and studied the Bible, the encounter of Nicodemus and Jesus Christ led me towards the need to be born again.

[Please see John 3 and this excellent commentary.]

When individuals find something that works for them (in the here and now) as did Tolle’s book for both the young man in my previous post and commenter Jennifer, my goal is not to disparage them in any way. My goal is to hopefully steer them toward God’s truth – which is found only in the Bible.

Here is an excerpt from the CIC Ministry essay:

The “Pain-body” and Interconnectedness

 

A common theme in neo-paganism is the transpersonal soul and interconnectedness of all things.6 Tolle’s pantheism has the same theme. In his case he posits the existence of a “pain-body” which is something like karma. He says:

 

Strictly speaking, you don’t think: Thinking happens to you . . . The voice in the head has a life of its own. Most people are at the mercy of that voice; they are possessed by thought, by the mind. And since the mind is conditioned by the past, you are forced to reenact the past again and again. The Eastern term for this is karma. (Tolle: 129)

Tolle explains that we have been “mind-possessed” and a false self (ego) has developed that is identified with the mind and thinking (which is a bad thing). The emotions are also a dimension of the ego and they are problematic as well. Then there is the “pain-body” that connects us to all the negative vibrations of the human race. Our problems are not just ours, but those of the unconscious human race who went before us. Tolle describes the “pain-body” in its individual manifestation:

 

The remnants of pain left behind by every strong negative emotion that is not fully faced, accepted, and then let go of join together to form an energy field that lives in the very cells of your body. It consists not just of childhood pain, but also painful emotions that were added to it later in adolescence and during your adult life, much of it created by the voice of the ego [i.e. thinking]. It is the emotional pain that is your unavoidable companion when a false sense of self is the basis of your life. (Tolle: 142)

Keep in mind that the “false sense of self” is the belief that we have a unique, independent existence, that our personal identities are meaningful, and that our unique identities can be defined objectively. The true self is consciousness of Presence, I Am, Now, and other ways of describing deity. It appears to me that Tolle’s pain-body idea is a replacement for the biblical idea of sin. Our problem is not that we have rebelled against the unique creator God who has given us His moral law, but that we have allowed our thoughts, emotions, and addiction to forms to define us and keep us from becoming conscious (i.e., aware of our deity).

In this scheme of things, there is also interconnectivity or collective karma:

 

The pain-body, however, is not just individual in nature. It also partakes of the pain suffered by countless humans throughout the history of humanity, which is a history of continuous tribal warfare, of enslavement, pillage, rape, torture, and other forms of violence. This pain still lives in the collective psyche of humanity and is being added to on a daily basis. (Tolle: 142, 143)

So this “pain-body” is a huge problem, endemic to the human race, and the cause of the many problems we encounter. The solution for Tolle, of course, is to realize that it is illusion, escape from thought that attaches us to ego, and awaken to our real identity as I Am.

Christ has a role in helping us with this problem of pain-body suffering:

 

Why is the suffering body of Christ, his face distorted in agony and his body bleeding from countless wounds, such a significant image in the collective consciousness of humanity? Millions of people, particularly in medieval times, would not have related to it as deeply as they did if something within themselves had not resonated with it, if they had not unconsciously recognized it as an outer representation of their own inner reality—the pain-body. . . . Christ can be seen as the archetypal human, embodying both the pain and the possibility of transcendence. (Tolle: 144)

Tolle introduces the idea of Christ, and cites Jesus often as a teacher of the new consciousness. But he makes no effort to actually understand what the Bible tells us about the person and work of Christ. Christ came to die for sins, not to embody pain and possible transcendence. God’s wrath is directed against sin. That wrath is satisfied for believers by the once-for-all shed blood that Christ offered. The new consciousness “Christ” that Tolle describes is not the Christ of the Bible. We do not need to merely identify with Christ as the one suffering pain, but to repent and believe the gospel. But that idea will not be presented by Oprah through her huge media network. Instead, Tolle and his ilk get massive promotion. People are attracted to such a “Christ,” but this attraction does them no good; rather it leads them to further deception.

Take note that the ideas presented by Tolle are offered as the wisdom of the spiritual masters that he has gleaned, modified, and presented as the means of obtaining the “new earth.” He sees no need to present evidence or proof that the universe is as he says it is. It would be counterproductive, in his way of thinking, to do so. Why? Because evidence causes our minds to spring into action and analyze things, and thoughts are the problem—the awakened consciousness is the solution.

Thus we see odd claims tossed our way with no evidence reinforce them. Consider these statements:

 

Thoughts consist of the same energy vibrating at a higher frequency than matter, which is why they cannot be seen or touched. Thoughts have their own range of frequencies, with negative thoughts at the lower end of the scale and positive thoughts at the higher. The vibrational frequency of the pain-body resonates with that of negative thoughts. (Tolle: 147)Thus our collective pain-body is attracted to negative thoughts, which causes addiction to unhappiness. Here is why: “This is because the pain-body at that time [when you have negative thoughts] is living through you, pretending to be you. And to the pain-body, pain is pleasure” (Tolle: 147).

I think this sort of idea is what attracts many people to the Oprah/Tolle understanding of spirituality. If the negative thoughts their listeners and readers wish to be rid of are merely a pain-body (that is, not them) resonating at a lower frequency, then perhaps finding a different state of consciousness would solve the problem. The problem is not our own sin and guilt, but an unfortunate equating the interconnected pain and guilt of unconscious humanity with who we really are. If we find a way to awaken to the reality of our own divinity, all that pain will instantly disappear. It will be seen for the unreality it is.

But is there any reason to believe this material which has no evidence for its veracity? What if it is all a lie and our guilt really is our guilt and it needs expiation not relegation to the category of “illusion”?

Good question, isn’t it?

There is much, much more to read, so I suggest going over to CIC Ministry.org to read the entire commentary.

Today, there are so many different viewpoints being expressed by various Christian denominations, it can be difficult to ascertain what is truth via the Bible vs. human errors that can be taught due to social and politically “correct” ideology.

With that said, I also suggest reading about the Berean Bible Society.  People may ask, what does Berean mean?

Answer:

What is a “berean” anyway?

Thanks for asking. We get asked that a lot. Being called a Berean comes from Acts 17:10-11. In verse 11 it says that those from Berea (hence, the Bereans) were nobler than the people in Thessalonica because they “received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”So, when we say that someone is a “Berean” we mean that they do two things: (1) They have an open mind and willingly receive the Word of God when it is taught to them and (2) But then, they check out what they were taught by comparing it with the Scriptures.Both aspects are important. Some people are so closed-minded that they will not even listen to anything new or that might threaten what they already know. Others are so gullible that they accept whatever is told them without ever checking it against what the Bible says. Both extremes are to be avoided.

A Berean is one who has a balanced viewpoint. We listen to what someone has to say because we are eager to learn the word of God more perfectly. We realize that we have not learned it all. But then, we take what we have heard and compare it with the Bible. Then, if both match, we have learned something and increased our knowledge of God’s Word, rightly divided.

*******

*Jude 1:4
For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God[fn] and our Lord Jesus Christ.

I truly believe that it is more compassionate to share the truth of the Bible with people who may get trapped in deception!

And yes!  It can be painful for both the person currently “in the fire” as well as the Christian who is trying to “pull them out of the fire,” right?

Isn’t the reward of eternal life worth it?

Jude 1:20
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,

Jude 1:21
keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Jude 1:22
And on some have compassion, making a distinction;[fn]

Jude 1:23
but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire,[fn] hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

Jude 1:24
Now to Him who is able to keep you[fn] from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,

Jude 1:25
To God our Savior,[fn]
Who alone is wise,[fn]
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,[fn]
Both now and forever.
Amen.

Hat tips to all links.

Why “Justice” is Not the Mission of the Church (In the Most Simple Terms Possible) — Pulpit & Pen (Update 9/7/18)

September 6, 2018

Truth 2 Freedom’s blog has drawn my attention to an explanation of “why ‘justice’ is not the mission of the church,” as well as why (plus a link for it) there is a need for the “Dallas Statement on Social Justice.”

At the start, I want to write that I am NOT SAYING that there isn’t a place for social justice.  Of course there is a place for it.

Unchecked Copy BoxMic 6:8He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
The important distinction that is being pointed out through this post as well as Truth 2 Freedom’s post, and,  most importantly, by Pulpit & Pen’s Dallas Statement on Social Justice is the fact that misplaced “social justice” that is incorrectly interpreted can be used as a weapon against those who follow Biblical Christian faith.
Here is just one example of how someone’s determined view of a “social justice” can, and does, conflict with the view of mercy from a pro-life Biblical Christian’s standpoint.

[ Graphics via pinterest]

For those who may believe that abortion doesn’t have consequences for the would-be mother, read the above graphic!

Copy of post:

Is doing justice a major component of the New Testament Church? Many want to know, and the Dallas Statement on Social Justice answers the question in the negative. Others, who don’t know that conservative evangelicals (including Albert Mohler) universally condemned “Social Justice” a decade ago, are flabbergasted that anyone argues that Social Justice isn’t part and parcel of the church’s mission. For those whose sense of history began this morning, they might be startled to hear another point of view from that presented on the website of The Social Gospel Coalition.

Let me explain this in as few words as is humanly possible. Maybe, just maybe, with the multitudinous volume of words being spent on the subject the forest is getting lost for the trees. So then, maybe fewer words are better.

DEFINITIONS

Justice – “Getting what one is due, what they deserve, or that to which they are entitled.”

Mercy –  “Compassion toward one in a lesser estate, particularly done without obligation, but with empathy.”

IN THE BIBLE

Distributing justice is the role of the government, according to 1 Peter 2 and Romans 13. Spiritual Israel, the church, has neither the responsibility nor the right to dispense justice. However, individual believers may petition the government for the distribution of justice in the giving people what they deserve (whether good or bad). The church does not wield the sword of justice; the magistrate does.

Distributing mercy is the role of Christians individually and corporately (Luke 6:36, Matthew 5:7). However, mercy cannot be demanded. In fact, God Himself gives mercy selectively (Romans 9:15-16). Most mentions of mercy in the Scripture are not a command to give it, but to receive it (Hebrews 4:16).

THAT WHICH IS DESERVED IS JUSTICE

Things under the category of “justice” include punishment for the wicked (Romans 13:4), the full enforcement of all laws or ordinances passed for the governance of a people (1 Peter 2:13), fair balances and measures (Proverbs 11:1), and paying laborers their agreed-upon wage (Romans 4:4). It is the government’s job to ensure that criminals are punished, laws are enforced impartially, and contracts are upheld. It is not the job of the church to settle these matters of criminal law and governance.

THAT WHICH IS NOT DESERVED IS MERCY

Things under the category of “mercy” include caring for the widow and orphan, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and caring for the imprisoned. There is no entitlement to kindness. These are acts of mercy and not justice. No one is entitled to food, healthcare, medicine, clothing, or shelter (that belongs to another person), unless they have earned it by previous agreement. The American government, in particular, has no obligation to provide mercy, but Christians should lead the way in the private sector to provide mercy in the name of Jesus.

THE MOST UNFORTUNATE CONFUSION

The presumption of many of the thought-leaders on the side of evangelical Social Justice is that mercy is actually justice and that people are entitled to kindness. They presume this is the case because, as Marxists or collectivists, they have a hard time telling the difference between rights, entitlements, and charity. Sadly, this confusion has soteriological ramifications. If you do not know the difference between justice and mercy, you will have a hard time understanding the concepts of grace and gratitude.

via Why “Justice” is Not the Mission of the Church (In the Most Simple Terms Possible) — Pulpit & Pen

Hat tip:  Truth 2 Freedom’s blog

*******

Christine’s commentary:

Back in 2008, many who label themselves as “Evangelical Christians” voted for Barack Obama.  The very first reason why I could never have voted for this man was his staunch stance on abortion for any reason.  As I did my homework, the second reason ended up being because of the 38 Reasons Why Obama Is Not a Christian; even though he claimed that he was.

Now, in 2016, a large amount of voters (not all, of course) who call themselves Evangelical Christians voted for Donald J. Trump for President. People may have wondered why then, as well as why Biblically based Christians would stand with him as President today. The vitriol and hatred against the man, against his successful administration, against those that voted for him and against those who continue to support him increases daily. Why is that?

I think that the divide between the “social justices warriors” vs. Christians who hold to the role of the church as “Mercy – “Compassion toward one in a lesser estate, particularly done without obligation, but with empathy” has warped full-on as the great divide.

The book of Jude describes such a divide in much detail.

Here are just a few pertinent verses from Jude:

Jde 1:21
Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

God’s Word in Jude tells us that we are to have compassion upon those lost in sin, and “pulling them out of the fire.”

Jde 1:22
And of some have compassion, making a difference:
Jde 1:23
And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

We are in such a time as this!

I also suggest reading David Guzik’s complete commentary on the book of Jude. Readers who take the time to read it will gain so much more knowledge of the truth!

Now, with all of the previous commentary and links read, I’d like to share a copy of the Statement On Social Justice found at Pulpit and Pen.org

Excerpt:

The statement’s introduction begins:

In view of questionable sociological, psychological, and political theories presently permeating our culture and making inroads into Christ’s church, we wish to clarify certain key Christian doctrines and ethical principles prescribed in God’s Word. Clarity on these issues will fortify believers and churches to withstand an onslaught of dangerous and false teachings that threaten the gospel, misrepresent Scripture, and lead people away from the grace of God in Jesus Christ.

Specifically, we are deeply concerned that values borrowed from secular culture are currently undermining Scripture in the areas of race and ethnicity, manhood and womanhood, and human sexuality. The Bible’s teaching on each of these subjects is being challenged under the broad and somewhat nebulous rubric of concern for “social justice.” If the doctrines of God’s Word are not uncompromisingly reasserted and defended at these points, there is every reason to anticipate that these dangerous ideas and corrupted moral values will spread their influence into other realms of biblical doctrines and principles.

We submit these affirmations and denials for public consideration, not with any pretense of ecclesiastical authority, but with an urgency that is mixed with deep joy and sincere sorrow. The rapidity with which these deadly ideas have spread from the culture at large into churches and Christian organizations—including some that are evangelical and Reformed—necessitates the issuing of this statement now…

The statement goes on to read (in part):

WE AFFIRM that the Bible is God’s Word, breathed out by him. It is inerrant, infallible, and the final authority for determining what is true (what we must believe) and what is right (how we must live). All truth claims and ethical standards must be tested by God’s final Word, which is Scripture alone.

WE DENY that Christian belief, character, or conduct can be dictated by any other authority, and we deny that the postmodern ideologies derived from intersectionality, radical feminism, and critical race theory are consistent with biblical teaching. We further deny that competency to teach on any biblical issue comes from any qualification for spiritual people other than clear understanding and simple communication of what is revealed in Scripture.

WE AFFIRM that God created every person equally in his own image. As divine image-bearers, all people have inestimable value and dignity before God and deserve honor, respect and protection. Everyone has been created by God and for God.

WE DENY that God-given roles, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, religion, sex or physical condition or any other property of a person either negates or contributes to that individual’s worth as an image-bearer of God.

SCRIPTURE: GENESIS 1:26-302:18-229:62 CORINTHIANS 5:17COLOSSIANS 1:21-22

WE AFFIRM that since he is holy, righteous, and just, God requires those who bear his image to live justly in the world. This includes showing appropriate respect to every person and giving to each one what he or she is due. We affirm that societies must establish laws to correct injustices that have been imposed through cultural prejudice.

WE DENY that true justice can be culturally defined or that standards of justice that are merely socially constructed can be imposed with the same authority as those that are derived from Scripture. We further deny that Christians can live justly in the world under any principles other than the biblical standard of righteousness. Relativism, socially-constructed standards of truth or morality, and notions of virtue and vice that are constantly in flux cannot result in authentic justice.

*******
This is, my dear readers, the book of Jude in action here and now – in the year of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in 2018!
David Guzik concludes in his commentary on Jude:

c. Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy: As God is faithful, we won’t have to slink shamefacedly into the presence of God. We can be presented before Him with exceeding joy.

d. Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever: This all reminds us of God’s wisdom, glory, and power. Jude isn’t trying to say that we can or should give these things to God. When we acknowledge and declare the truth about God, it glorifies Him. We aren’t giving God more majesty or power than He had before; we are just recognizing and declaring it.

i. Both now and forever: This could also be translated “unto all the ages.” This is “as complete a statement of eternity as can be made in human language.” (Robertson) Our victory, our triumph in God, is forever.

ii. There is serious deception in the world and often among those called Christians. There are enemies of the gospel who have infiltrated the church. Yet despite the greatness of the threat, God is greater still. He wins, and if we will only stay with Him, we are guaranteed victory also.

iii. Jude is a book full of warning, but it closes with supreme confidence in God. Dangerous times should make us trust in a mighty God.

Amen!

Hat tips to all links.

*******

Update 9/7/18

There is an additional discussion going on over at IB’s blog regarding this topic. See: Justice Is Not the Mission of the Church?

The fact that Albert Mohler was included on the “social justice proponents” list, brought some questions up at that blog. I then clicked on the link in my original post where Albert Mohler was listed as a proponent. But then, I found a Youtube video where (in 2011) Albert Mohler debated Jim Wallis. Within the comments below the video, we read:

The Henry Center for Theological Understanding, in its Trinity Debates forum, is pleased to provide a public venue for addressing this question by hosting two prominent voices from competing perspectives. Jim Wallis will answer “Yes” and R. Albert Mohler will answer “No.”

So, the question is did Albert Mohler change his position sometime after that debate? This needs to be investigated further and I invite readers to share their findings (if so led) in the comment section.

Thanks,
Christine

Gain the Strength to Cope, and Experience Restoration

June 30, 2018

~ Daily life verse . com

Dear Readers,

At this blog, I try to share valid information that will help people to understand what is going on in the world today.  Most importantly, I (especially!) like to share the Good News of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of the world!

Back in the early years of blogging, I attended a Christian based seminar where the instructors (at BIOLA University – Bible Institute of Los Angeles) shared tips on how to run a blog, what to write about (mostly, from the Bible/Christian perspective), how to gain readers, etc.  It was “everything you would want to know” for running a Christian oriented blog.

During one class, I raised my hand to ask the professor his opinion of whether or not it was OK to share Bible/Christian based posts along with criticism about the secular worldviews that continue to try to challenge faith-based posts.  He stated that it might be best to choose between only pursuing Christian apologetics/worldviews vs. additionally discussing worldview criticism and exposing it.  In his opinion, it would be difficult to do both.  Apparently, he meant that it might be difficult to do both at the same blog and at the same time, successfully.

I understood why he believed that.  Years ago, I noticed that the different types of approaches yielded different results.  The sweet Scripture-based blog owners wrote about only the good things that expressed “the fruit of the Spirit” based on Galatians 5.

Galatians 5, however, also shares the reality of “longsuffering” and covers “the works of the flesh” and the evil it spreads. What’s more, those who practice such things (having not been re-born in Jesus Christ) “will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Serious topics to contemplate and express on a blog, aren’t they?

Today, it seems that satanic influence in the world and upon people has been ratcheted up; even more so ever since Donald Trump became president.  I truly believe that it’s because people are (knowingly, or unknowingly) being used by the enemy of our souls and his demons to carry out such evil.  Of course, it didn’t start after the election of 2016.  It’s been going on ever since sin entered into the world.  However, in my 63 years on this earth, I see that the corruption has grown exponentially.  It can be very disheartening, to say the least.

Galatians lists them all:

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.

~Christian statements . com

I prefaced this post with that information because the Bible is true, and Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life.”  No matter what happens in this fallen world, those facts will never change and those who have prayed and repented of their sins, asked Jesus Christ into their hearts as Lord and Savior, and have the Holy Spirit indwelling them can gain the strength to cope, and experience restoration despite all the grief and horror that is going on.

Please read John 16

The last verse is a favorite verse for me.

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.”

During the tough times when I become disheartened, that Bible verse brings me back to the purpose of Jesus’ life, death on the cross, and resurrection to life; and the promises that He made to all believers.  The pain and anguish of “Good Friday,” became the joy and peace that surpasses all understanding on Resurrection Day!

I had one of those disheartening moments this morning when I read about:

Hackers are selling babies’ personal data on the Dark Web.

Excerpt:

The personal information of babies is now available on the Dark Web.

Younger children — even newborns — now have a social security number, but they have obviously never made any purchases, which means they have a “perfect” credit history. Hackers sell the information these days with a complete “how to” for the buyer, explaining the steps to file fraudulent tax records or apply for a credit card without getting caught.

I’ve heard about the “Dark Web” before, but never wanted to pursue the information.  However, that link above is safe.  It’s from a Fox News tech site, written back in 2014, entitled, “Darknets: Murky recesses of the hidden web.”

Information like this makes me so sad and angry!  While we tend to enjoy all of the latest technology (and sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs etc.), knowing that such evil exists that is often hidden from the general public is very discouraging.  It’s bad now, so I worry how bad it can get during my sweet granddaughter’s lifetime?!  How will she be protected from identity theft and the filth online?

Months ago, I had a brief conversation with someone who has a relative in the CIA.  He stated that he would recommend never publishing a baby or child’s photo online.  Why?  Because they can take a photo and photo-shop it for very ugly reasons (porn etc.).

All I can do is pray for protection over members of my family and friends!  It is time to do more praying, than ever before!

Luk 11:1
Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

Luk 11:2
So He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Our Father in heaven,[fn]
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.[fn]
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

Luk 11:3

Give us day by day our daily bread.

Luk 11:4

And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.”[fn]

Matthew adds:

Mat 6:13
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.[fn]

~ Our daily breadcrumbs . com

Genuine Forgiveness Includes Reconciliation

March 2, 2018

A mother who has been suffering through a sudden estrangement situation with her son told me that his “break up with his parents” letter included the following comment:

“I forgive you, but I can’t be around it anymore.” 

According to the letter the mom had received, his grievances included perceived “unhealthy communication” and “crossing boundaries,” plus “convictions” regarding grievances which had never been shared with the parents while growing up.  But now, they have “come to light” and were included without much explanation in the letter written.  The son has ignored the pleas of his mother to at least talk it out, or even see a counselor together in order to understand the son’s convictions and grievances; some of which she has no idea in what he’s talking about.

The entire family has been suffering with grief over this for the past four months.  They don’t know whether or not this young man will ever come around and be willing to talk with them or see them again.  It’s a very sad situation!  This young man even wrote to his own sister and in a separate email message where he basically made her choose which side she and her husband were on; his or their parents!

I’m not trained as a counselor and I don’t claim to have all the answers to such a situation.  However, when I see human problems from a biblical perspective (which is something that, as Christians, we should always strive to do), I like to share it here at this blog in the hope that what is written might help someone who is suffering in an estrangement situation.

Forgiveness is Divine.

No wonder it has been said that, “forgiveness is Divine.”  Isn’t it so true that it is often very difficult for us imperfect and sinful human beings to forgive?  But when one forgives another, it is like a huge weight has been lifted off of the heart, soul and mind.  It releases all of that pain, resentment, and rage that once plagued us.  It’s difficult to explain, but when it happens in your life, you know it!

The second (and most important) action that follows forgiveness is reconciliation.  Without reconciliation, the term “forgiveness” is hollow and meaningless.  Man can still claim to forgive, but holding a grudge and refusing to return towards a relationship with one who has been forgiven demonstrates that there is still contempt, dislike, or maybe even hatred for the person (people) that one claims that they have forgiven.  Holding a grudge eats away at one’s heart, soul, spirit and mind!

Christians should not live that way.  They should not hold grudges or have contempt for those that they have loved before, claimed to have forgiven for a simple trespass, yet refuse to participate in a path towards reconciliation.

Our Model, in this respect, is Jesus Christ Himself.  Even when He was being crucified on the cross, (a most painful and excruciating form of punishment that leads to death) He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.”  When Jesus died for our sins – the sins of all mankind – He was buried in a guarded tomb.  However, death could not hold Him down and after fulfilling His purpose on this earth, He rose on the third day.  Yes!  His glorious resurrection had a crucial purpose.  Those who would believe in Him and the reason why He died for our sins would join in with the joyous purpose of being reconciled back unto God!

Without the goal of reconciliation, the entire purpose of forgiveness of our sins would be meaningless, wouldn’t it?

If Jesus had listened to and obeyed the man in the crowd at Calvary who yelled, “if you are truly the Son of God, come down from that cross and save yourself,” then the entire purpose for which He was sent and born into this world would have been lost!  Jesus would have ended up going back to the Father, but He would have entered back into heaven alone, for all of eternity.  The offer and goal of salvation for mankind would have been lost.

Only the sinless Son of God could have (and did!) accomplish the plan of forgiveness, reconciliation, and salvation for all who would believe in Him!

Jesus is the bridge that crosses the deep cavern that exists between sinful man and Holy God!  Without reconciliation in this manner, what good is there in forgiveness?  Answer:  it would be hollow, to say the least, and not a soul saving type of forgiveness.

This serves as a model for human relationships and the need to follow Christ’s lead towards forgiving one another.  Without reconciliation, it is hollow at its core.

God bless and may you find peace in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ,

~  Christine

Dan 9:24 – “Seventy weeks[fn] are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of[fn] sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy.

*******

Rom 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:9 – Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Rom 5:10 – For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Rom 5:11 – And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

*******

2 Cor 5:18 – Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,
2 Cor 5:19 – that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
2 Cor 5:20 – Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
2 Cor 5:21 – For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

*******

Update

Also see:

Truth 2 Freedom: March 2 The Godhead Forever One

Grace

May 28, 2017

 

I have been thinking about the term “grace” a lot lately.  According to Dictionary.com, the word has several different meanings.  When I went to that site today, the “word of the day” happened to be “hedonism.”  How ironic…

Word Origin and History for grace

n.

late 12c., “God’s favor or help,” from Old French grace “pardon, divine grace, mercy; favor, thanks; elegance, virtue” (12c.), from Latin gratia “favor, esteem, regard; pleasing quality, good will, gratitude” (source of Italian grazia, Spanish gracia), from gratus “pleasing, agreeable,” from PIE root *gwere- “to favor” (cf. Sanskrit grnati “sings, praises, announces,” Lithuanian giriu “to praise, celebrate,” Avestan gar- “to praise

According to Blue Letter Bible.com, the word “grace” appears in the NKJV 143 times in 137 verses.

My concern in this post is about the grace of God. Nave’s topical Bible shares general scriptures concerning the grace of God, including some that help in the growth in the grace of God. [Note: if you click on that link and hover your cursor over the Bible verse, a box pops up to reveal the entire verse.]

It is difficult to pick a favorite, but for today’s purposes I chose these verses:

Romans 5:15-21 (KJV) 15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Those verses contain the term “grace” five times, and shares the gospel message!  That passage of Scripture explains why Jesus Christ is the only way unto salvation!

We are meant to continue to grow in grace! And, how do we do that? Through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

2Pe 3:18 KJV – 18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

 

How Can We Distinguish Between Deception and Truth?

May 26, 2017

The current onslaught of the “fake news” meme today can often be confusing.  How can one know whether or not an article or news report from the media is true or fake these days?

Well, Kingsjester’s Blog has a great post up today that shares the fact that almost 2/3rds of people polled believe that the media of mass deception is full of fake news.

My comment there:

Thanks for sharing this poll with your readers. I often wondered what percentage of people in our nation were falling for the made-up Trump/Russia meme. Glad to see that at least 2/3 recognize the lies of the media of mass deception!

Loved what you wrote here:

At the rate that these stories are being debunked, most Americans have accurately surmised that the MSM’s “anonymous sources” are the voices inside their own over-sized heads.

Sad…but true! And it made me laugh, too!

Did you see (or hear) President Trump’s commencement speech at Liberty University? It was wonderful! I loved how he included that the naysayers in life should be ignored and that the students should never, ever give up on their goals!

I actually feel sorry for the snowflakes in the liberal universities and colleges that are having their heads filled with progressive propaganda. I pray that someone will share the truth of the written Word of the Bible and the “peace that surpasses all understanding,” the Living Word, Jesus Christ with them.

*******

The following is a portion of a post that was shared back in 2013 at my former blog.  It holds true even more today, as the perpetuation of lies has increased even more since that post was written!  The question isn’t really “what” can help you distinguish between deception and truth.  The question (and ultimately the answer) is Who can help you do this!

 

~ Christine

Deception Can Cause Many to Suffer
The Bible has a lot to say about deception.  This post will not be totally comprehensive about the subject of deception and/or deceiving people.  However, it will give us some insight into the machinations of this type of evil and what it tragically often leads to in this fallen world.

Deceit (a.k.a. dishonesty, lying, tricking) is a tool used by people in order to accomplish certain outcomes in which they desire to reap power, monetary gain, fame, tyranny over others, and a whole host of other reasons.  The ability to “get away with it” in a world of disinformation runs rampant.  People don’t know what to believe anymore.  They are so conditioned to believe what they are told on the news.  But, what if the “news” being reported is not the truth?  What if many are being told to lie to us?  What if they are “programmed” to trick us into believing even the most bizarre event(s) ever seen by mankind; just because the ignorant and uninformed continue to trust them?

People who are propped up as being “dignified” and “above the fray” are often the very same individuals who deceive the most.  Getting away with dishonesty is easy when so many others are either mesmerized by a popular (but deceptive) individual and thus miss the fact that such a popular person is actually complicit in the lies being perpetrated.

The Bible informs us just who is called the deceiver.

Read Revelation 12:1-9.

However, the key Bible verse is:

This great dragon–the ancient serpent called the Devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world–was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.  (Revelation 12:9)

We can see that the Bible describes Satan as the deceiver.  The devil is not some cartoon character or made up entity.  He was originally an angel of God whose pride made him corrupt.  The name Satan means “adversary” or “accuser” (12:10).

As 1 Peter 5:8-9 informs us, Satan actively looks for people to attack.  He especially likes to seek out believers who may be young in the faith, vulnerable in some way, or not involved in fellowship with other believers.

Despite the fact that God allows (due to Adam and Eve’s choice to do evil in the Garden of Eden) the devil to do his work in the world, God is still in control.

Unbelievers often try to mock Christians for their beliefs.  They hate Christ and try to diminish the fact that Jesus has complete power over Satan.  This was demonstrated during Christ’s three-year ministry on the earth.  Scripture tells us that when Jesus was tempted by Satan, Christ used Scripture to send him away.  Only the Word of God was needed to make Satan flee!!   That is an important fact to remember!

You may or may not know (or believe) that when Jesus died for the sins of mankind and rose from the dead, it was at that moment that Satan’s future was doomed and Jesus has the keys to heaven where he goes to create mansions in eternity for believers.  Revelation 20:10 tells us that one day Satan will be bound forever, never again to do his evil work. (1)

Next, read John 8:42-47.

The key Bible verse:

You are the children of your father the Devil, and you love to do the evil things he does.  He was a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth.  There is no truth in him.  When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.  (John 8:44)

[Notice that] Jesus called Satan the father of lies.  The attitudes and actions of these leaders clearly identified them as follower of Satan.  They may not have been conscious of this, but their hatred of truth, their lies, and their murderous intentions indicated how much control the devil had over them.  They were his tools in carrying out his plans; they spoke the very same language of lies.  Satan still uses people to obstruct God’s work (Genesis 4:8; Romans 5:12; 1 John 3:12). (2)

From the John 8:44 verse, we learn that lying “is consistent with his (the Devil’s) character.”  Satan was “a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth.”  There is “no truth in him.”  What’s even more disturbing is the realization that the “children of your father, the Devil, love to do the evil things he does.”

The Devil can have much control over the un-saved.  They can become “his tools in carrying out his plans.”  They speak “the very same language of lies.”  Also, see the Bible verses that describe how Satan uses people to obstruct God’s work.

No wonder Jesus told us that He is the truth! Christ informs us that God’s Word is Truth!   And the “truth will set you (us) free!”

People will lie, deceive, hurt and murder others because they hate the truth (Jesus Christ).  There is no truth in them, and they LOVE to do the evil things that Satan does.

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but when I see what is going on in this world of lies, deceit, sin, evil and death, I sometimes shake my head in disbelief that others don’t recognize that they are being lied to and so heavily deceived!!  However, when I delve back into God’s Word, I realize that we have been warned of this.  Deception is exponentially getting worse because we are heading closer and closer towards the end times.

So, we might ask what happens when we deceive others?

Bible reading:  Luke 8:16-18

Key Bible verse:

Everything that is hidden or secret will eventually be brought to light and made plain to all. (Luke 8:17)

We cannot hide our sins from God.  In God’s eyes, people’s hearts–their thoughts and motives–are as visible as a lamp mounted in the open.  No matter how hard we try to cover up bad attitudes, deeds, or words, we cannot deceive God.  Instead of hiding our faults, we should ask God to change our life so we no longer have to be ashamed.  If you are trying to hide anything from God, it won’t work.  Only when you confess your hidden sins and seek God’s forgiveness will you have the help you need to do right. (3)

The only way to avoid falling prey to deceit is to ask God to help you distinguish between deception and truth.

Keep on praying, America!

Keep on reading and studying the Bible on a daily basis!

Psa 119:160 The entirety of Your word [is] truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments [endures] forever.

 

Jhn 17:17 “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

 – Jesus Christ

References:

1 The Handbook of Bible Application, Second Edition, 2000, Neil S. Wilson Editor, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois. p. 135 (paraphrased).

2 Ibid. (quote)

3 Ibid. (quote)

B. Franklin Warned About “Keeping Our Republic.”

August 4, 2016

At the birth of our nation, the wise Benjamin Franklin was asked, “Sir, what kind of government have you given us?” He replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

After 240 years, we can see why Franklin warned about “keeping our Republic.” He instinctively knew the hearts of men (and probably Scripture) and how the evil that men do… who do not know God, His Word, or Jesus Christ… would eventually work to take this nation in a downward spiral towards its destruction. This is why no “one” man or elected official could ever save us. Only Jesus Christ saves – and no matter what happens in this world (where Jesus said, “you will have trouble (tribulation)”; we know that only He can “fix it” if it be His will.

Our true and genuine hope is not in this world, because we are not of this world. Our true and genuine hope is in Jesus Christ and that through Him we are saved for all eternity!

My blogging friend over at Oil For Your Lamp wrote an interesting essay entitled, Superman’s America Has Been Conquered!

Superman stood for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. But no more!

Excerpt:

This nation has been conquered!

And the American people cheered while they watched it happened!

I look at what is happening in the United States today and I think:

There was a time when the Truth mattered to Americans.  That time is no more!

Today, we watch our leaders and media lie to us every time they open their lips, but we do not care.  We have learned to accept lies as the new normal.

There was a time when Justice mattered to Americans.  That time is no more!

Today, we watch people we know to be guilty tell us they are innocent, but we do not care.  We have learned to accept corruption as the new normal.

There was a time when this nation understood that ‘The American Way’ meant that you did not begrudge others their success: instead, we worked hard and tried to learn from their example so that we could be successful, as well.  That time is no more!

Read it all HERE.

 

I can certainly  see his point!

“Superman’s ideal America” sadly, no longer exists.  The decline started gradually, but has now exponentially tanked our nation into a pit of despair!

The prophecy of Scripture both warns us and informs us about what will happen the closer we get to the end times.  Those who reject God and His Christ have much to fear.

However, those who genuinely belong to Jesus Christ can “take heart…because Jesus has overcome the world!”

We pray that our God will heal our land. We pray:

2Ch 7:14

“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Even then, the temporal healing is only temporary…and does not compare to the eternal healing that we can experience through being born again in Christ!

I pray that those who do not currently know Jesus Christ (and the salvation He offers to those who repent and confess their sins) will turn to Him and believe in Him before it’s to late.

Read what those who belong to Jesus gain!

Rom 8:18

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Rom 8:19

or the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

Rom 8:20

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;

Rom 8:21

because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Rom 8:22

For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

Rom 8:23

Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

Rom 8:24

For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?

Rom 8:25

But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

Rom 8:26

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us[fn] with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Rom 8:27

Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Rom 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Rom 8:29

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Rom 8:30

Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

Rom 8:31

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Rom 8:32

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

Rom 8:33

Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

Rom 8:34

Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Rom 8:35

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Rom 8:36

As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”[fn]

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.

Hat tip: Oil For Your Lamp

We were so lost on earth, no peace, no worth, no way to escape. In fear, no faith, no hope, no grace, and no light. But…

October 24, 2015

Empty manger, perfect stranger about to be born

Into darkness, sadness, desperate madness, creation so torn

We were so lost on earth, no peace, no worth, no way to escape

In fear, no faith, no hope no grace, and no light,

But that was the night before Christmas

– Brandon Heath

And The World Didn’t Know…

October 23, 2015

“And the world didn’t know, mercy was meek and so mild.

And the world didn’t know that truth was as pure as a child.

The night before Christmas. [2x]

And the world didn’t know, redemption was sweet and so strong.

And the world didn’t know salvation was writing a song.

The night before Christmas. [3x]

– Brandon Heath

Even though Christmas is months away, this particular song and music video is one that not only tells us about the birth of Christ, but it also shares how lost and fallen the world was before our Savior came to rescue us.

Our world is lost and fallen today;  for those who live without the meaning and redemption of our souls through the cross of Jesus Christ.  It’s a favorite song that I could listen to over and over again!

[Note:  If video does not play here at this blog, go to YouTube link:

The Night Before Christmas by Brandon Heath]

 

 

Complete song lyrics:

The Night Before Christmas

by Brandon Heath.

Empty manger, perfect stranger about to be born

Into darkness, sadness, desperate madness, creation so torn

We were so lost on earth, no peace, no worth, no way to escape

In fear, no faith, no hope no grace, and no light,

But that was the night before Christmas

Warm hay, cold sweat, a mother, not yet.
Praying godspeed the dawn

She looks to her man, holding her hand.
They wonder how long.

And the shepherds, wise men come to find them, and bow to a king.

One star above shining on love, so bright it lit up the night before Christmas.

And the world didn’t know, mercy was meek and so mild.

And the world didn’t know that truth was as pure as a child.

The night before Christmas. [2x]

[INSTRUMENTAL]

And the world didn’t know, redemption was sweet and so strong.

And the world didn’t know, salvation was writing a song.

The night before Christmas. [3x]

Empty manger, perfect stranger about to be born.

*******

The acoustic version is beautiful too!

[Note: Link to video if it doesn’t play here at this blog:

The Night Before Christmas by Brandon Heath (Acoustic version)]

Redeemed

May 9, 2015

 

Being born again in Jesus Christ is a joyous and very humbling experience.  Our free will allows us to be arrogant, sinful, hateful, sexually immoral, barbaric, liars, blasphemers, and all the rest of the actions of evil that exist in this fallen world.  However, once redeemed through Christ, we want to follow His Commandments because we love Him!  He did love us first…which is an awesome concept to finally realize and embrace!

1Jo 4:19

We love Him [fn] because He first loved us.

Jhn 14:15

“If you love Me, keep [fn] My commandments.

We are redeemed, but not yet perfected. We are constantly being sanctified (through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit) as we live this life here on earth. We still have the free will to sin, but because we want to please our Lord, we turn away from them and repent; because we want to obey Christ and have the goal to be more and more like Him each day.

When we die physically, we will see Him as He is! What a joyous event to look forward to in eternity!

Those who hate Christians either don’t understand why we love Jesus Christ and probably view what He accomplished for us on the cross at Calvary as “foolishness.” On the other hand, maybe they DO understand but have conscientiously chosen to reject it.  The God of the Bible says, “so be it.”  Rejection of the Holy Spirit of God is the final unforgivable sin, and those who make that choice (and die physically in that choice) have separated themselves from God, spiritually, for all eternity.

There is a song called “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave which describes a man’s transition from sinner to being saved by grace and mercy through Jesus Christ.  The lyrics depict what we all have done; including the sins we regret, as born again believers in Christ.  But it also reminds us that through this redemption, we know that we are free of the guilt, the shame, and the regret that would plague us forever if not for accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

[Note: If video does not play here, go to Youtube – “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave]

Over 9 million views and 4 thousand comments!

My eyes well up in tears when I listen to this song…

*******

How To Know God Personally [Click on link to discover the principles!]

What does it take to begin a relationship with God? Devote yourself to unselfish religious deeds? Become a better person so that God will accept you?

You may be surprised that none of those things will work. But God has made it very clear in the Bible how we can know Him.

The following principles will explain how you can personally begin a relationship with God, right now, through Jesus Christ…


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