Understanding the Bible…

II Tim. 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Understanding the Bible….

The story is told of an old man who lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning, Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading from his old worn-out Bible. His grandson who wanted to be just like him tried to imitate him in any way he could.

One day the grandson asked, “Papa, I try to read the Bible just like you but I don’t understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Bible do?”

The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and said, “Take this coal basket down to the river and bring back a basket of water.”

The boy did as he was told, even though all the water leaked out before he could get back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, “You will have to move a little faster next time,” and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again.

This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was “impossible to carry water in a basket,” and he went to get a bucket instead. The old man said, “I don’t want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You can do this. You’re just not trying hard enough,” and he went out the door to watch the boy try again.

At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got far at all. The boy scooped the water and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty. Out of breath, he said, “See Papa, it’s useless!”

“So you think it is useless?” The old man said, “Look at the basket.” The boy looked at the basket and for the first time he realized that the basket looked different. Instead of a dirty old coal basket, it was clean.

“Son, that’s what happens when you read the Bible. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, it will change you from the inside out.” That is the work of God in our lives. To change us from the inside out and to slowly transform us into the image of His son.

How do I allow myself to be changed from the inside out?

Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Take time to read a portion of God’s word each day, and remind a friend by sharing this story.

Renew your mind with God’s truths…

2 Tim. 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Those who do not have Jesus as their Lord and Savior have one major problem!

I Cor 2:14 “ But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.”

There is one thing needed before you can understand the Bible and know that you will spend ETERNITY with God….

 John 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

 John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

The Future and Coming Events…

Phil 4:6, 7 “Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

The Future and Coming Events!

You now find yourself in a traffic jam on a main highway. And of course you are already running late.  (By the way in the book of Daniel it says that our pace will pick up in the latter days.) This is not supposed to happen. A moment ago, you were sailing along the Interstate. Now, as you inch along with hundreds of other cars, there’s bumper-to-bumper traffic as far as the eye can see. As your temperature rises you think about how this could have been avoided. If I had listened to the radio traffic report or if I had noticed the truckers taking off ramps for other routes.

It’s good to have inside information of what’s ahead for our lives, especially if it’s inside information on what’s ahead forever! You know, that eternity issue that is so very hard to visualize. If we only had some solid intelligence on what’s on the other side of the day we die, we’d know what road to take and what road to avoid. Thankfully, God hasn’t left us in the dark about what’s ahead.

In fact, Jesus gave us a dramatic, sobering report from someone who ended up on the wrong road. It’s the story of a beggar named Lazarus, who actually goes to heaven when he dies and a rich man who ends up in hell. Did you know that in scripture Jesus talks more about hell more than He talked about heaven? Maybe because He knows we wouldn’t want to believe it.

In Luke 16, beginning with verse 23, the Bible says, “In hell, where the rich man was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'” The answer in vs. 29-31, “Abraham saith unto him, they have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, no, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

Rather than guessing about what hell may hold we do have scripture to tell enough to hopefully awaken us to think about our eternal destiny and the destiny and friends, family and neighbors around us who may not have heard or accepted the gospel. There are no second chances, no relief if we ignore the gospel, no water to quench the fire. But God never meant for any of us to go there. Hell was prepared for Satan and his demons, but hell is the eternal death penalty for those who defy God and run their own lives. God had every right to just leave us condemned. But instead, because of His awesome love for us, He sent His one and only Son to take that death penalty for our sins when He died on the cross. Jesus experienced hell so we don’t ever have to.

God sends no one to hell. We do that by our choice to accept or reject Jesus and the sacrifice He paid for our sins. If there is one decision or choice where anxiety is appropriate it would that question. Where are you going when you die and based on what?

Don’t risk another day without Jesus as your Saviour.

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death.”
John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Matthew 6:33,34 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords…

Jesus, God for all…

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

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God of concrete, God of steel,
God of piston and of wheel,
God of pylon, God of steam,
God of girder and of beam,
God of atom, God of mine,
All the world of power is Thine!

Lord of cable, Lord of rail,
Lord of motorway and mail,
Lord of rocket, Lord of flight,
Lord of soaring satellite,
Lord of lightning’s livid line,
All the world of speed is Thine!

Lord of science, Lord of art,
God of map and graph and chart,
Lord of physics and research,
Word of Bible, faith of church,
Lord of sequence and design,
All the world of truth is Thine!

God whose glory fills the earth,
Gave the universe its birth,
Loosed the Christ with Easter’s might,
Saves the world from evil’s blight,
Claims mankind by grace divine,
All the world of love is Thine!

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Psalm 90:2 “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou has
formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting,
thou art God.

The 10 Commandments….

Exodus 20:2a-6 “I am the Lord your God…

  • “You shall have no other gods before
  • “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

The 10 Commandments….

When you hear of someone worshipping an Idol you usually picture some statue with people praying to it and even making offerings to it. So when you are asked if you worship idols you immediately think that you are not in with those folks.  You see yourself as being good at least on the first two commandments of God having to do with idol worship. If we truly are keeping the first two then the other eight noted below should be easy. But if you are breaking the first two then the next eight are usually a product of that sin of idolatry. Look at them and you will see that if you are worshipping anything, person or statue and not worshipping God then breaking the other eight automatically in process. And remember that says we can sin with the mind as well as our hands. An example is anger. We can murder with the mind, commit adultery with the mind and sadly so it goes.

  • “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
  • “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
  • “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
  • “You shall not murder.
  • “You shall not commit adultery.
  • “You shall not steal.
  • “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
  • “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

So, the real question is whether idolatry is simply the worship of some statue or can it be the worship of other items or people including self. A preacher some 300 years ago gave the following list of 7 questions as a test to folks to see if they were worshipping idols. When you read it you will see that our nature or humanity is the same today as it was then so the test is as relevant today as it was then. I have added the verses that help me on each question and hopefully you also.

  1. What are you most disappointed with right now?
    1. Ex 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”
  2. What do you sacrifice your time and money for?
    1. Mat 6:21 “for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”
  3. What do you worry about? What scares you?
    1. 2 Tim 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
    2. Mat 6:33-34 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
  4. Where do you go when you hurt?
    1. Mat 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
  5. What makes you mad? The following is an example of righteous anger…..
    1. Mark 11:15 “So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.”
  6. What brings you the most joy?
    1. Romans 14:17-19 “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.”
  7. Whose applause do you long for?
    1. 2 Tim 4:7-8 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

 

So, how did you do on the quiz? And if you did not like some of your answers what are you going to do about it?

 

I John 1:8-10 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

 

It’s never too late to change your worship patterns.

 

Heb 12:1-2 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

A Baby’s Tiny Hands…

Hebrews 12:1,2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame and  is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

 A Baby’s Tiny Hands

While pregnant with her son
Beneath her heart within,
She’d often feel his hands
Moving inside her skin.

He’d stretch his arm and hand
and push out on her side
she’d lovingly push it back
with a smile so sweet and wide.

She could hardly wait
for his upcoming birth
to touch his tiny hands
and welcome him to earth.

Then it finally came,
the night that he was born.
With joy she couldn’t contain,
she held him until morn.

She explored his tiny fingers.
She counted all his toes.
She wanted to get to know him,
His ears, his cheeks, and his nose.

The wonder of it all,
at this new baby boy!
She could not hold back.
She wept with tears of joy.

She touched his tiny hand,
a miniature of her own.
He squeezed it tight on her finger.
Such joy she had never known!

The time passed and he grew.
As a toddler, it was grand
to walk along and hold
His fleshy little hand.

She taught him many things.
Together they spent hours.
She’d take his little hand
and touch it to a flower.

When she would hold him close,
He soon developed the knack
of hugging her ’round the neck,
His tiny hand patting her back.

As her son grew older,
His young hands also grew.
He learned many ways to use them.
Each day brought something new.

She helped him learn to read.
She helped him learn to write.
Then, as the day was ending,
she’d pray with him at night.

He learned to use a hammer
with which to drive a nail.
He’d sometimes strike his finger
and let out quite a wail!

Her son continued growing
and soon became a man.
She loved him just as much
As when his life began.

His hands were now full grown,
so strong, yet tender, when
He, with deep compassion,
comforted a friend.

She was extremely grateful
when his hands would fold;
and bowing his head in prayer,
to his Father in Heaven he’d hold.

As the years flew swiftly by,
she watched her son with pride,
His strong but gentle arms
and hands there at his side.

She then thought her life was over.
She suffered unspeakable loss
when her son’s beloved hands
were nailed to a wooden cross…

But that was just the beginning.
for he died and rose again.
Her sorrow then was ended,
and joy replaced her pain.

For, you see, her son was Jesus,
God coming to earth as man,
to save us from our sins
according to His plan.

We cannot save ourselves.
Our sins would lead to death.
God put our sins on Jesus,
the perfect and the best.

With this came our forgiveness
if we believe in Him
He will take away our sins,
and come into our lives,
As He was resurrected,

Eternal Life He’ll bring
to all who have faith and believe
and to His hand will cling.

John 14:6 “And He said unto them, I am the way, the truth and the life,
no one can come unto the Father, but by Me.”

Never Ending Daily Praise…

Romans 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Psalm 146:1-10

Praise the Lord!

Let all that I am praise the Lord.
I will praise the Lord as long as I live.
I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.

Don’t put your confidence in powerful people;
there is no help for you there.

When they breathe their last, they return to the earth,
and all their plans die with them.

But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper,
whose hope is in the Lord their God. He made heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever.

He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry.
The Lord frees the prisoners.

The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.

The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down.

The Lord loves the godly.

The Lord protects the foreigners among us.

He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.

The Lord will reign forever.

He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations

Today, as the Psalmist reminds us I encourage you to put trust
and faith in God and in no event, place or person of this world. Then
and only then is there peace………………..

Praise you the Lord….terrorists cannot take that away….

In our world today there is so much sadness. Suicides, murders
of the living and of those in the womb who have yet to experience their
first breath. Terrorism, shootings on school grounds defying explanation
at least from the scholars of this world. The natural disasters seem to
be increasing and the destruction and death from them also. The heroes
in our world of sports, politics, and churches continue to let us down when
their supposedly hidden lives are revealed.

The news media is having a field day. Each and every day they do
not have to search too far to have sensational stories of new tragedies.

So, you say, why give me this to start my day? The Psalm below reminded
me that even when all around us is in peril and maybe even my life is,
there is One beautiful constant……………..

 

Philip. 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding,
shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
PRAISE YOU THE LORD!

Do you know Jesus…

Mat 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Do you know Jesus….

Have you tasted what a daily relationship with Jesus is all about? You say, I know Jesus was born, died and rose again and even know Him as my Savior.  And I attend a Christian Church. But I ask again. Have you tasted what a DAILY RELATIONSHIP with Jesus is all about?

Subject: Jesus

At one University each year they have what is called “Church Day”. It is a day when all the members of a certain denomination in the area are invited to the school because they want the Church dollars to keep coming in. On this day each one is to bring a lunch to be eaten outdoors in a grassy picnic area. Every “Church Day” the school would invite one of the greatest minds to lecture in the theological education center, and then eat their lunches outdoors.  One year they invited a popular speaker.

He spoke for two and one-half hours proving that the resurrection of Jesus was false. He quoted scholar after scholar and book after book. He concluded that since there was no such thing as the historical resurrection the religious tradition of the church was groundless, emotional mumbo-jumbo, because it was based on a relationship with a risen Jesus, who, in fact, never rose from the dead in any literal sense. He then asked if there were any questions.

After about 30 seconds, an old, dark skinned preacher with a head of short-cropped, woolly white hair stood up in the back of the auditorium. “Docta, I got one question,” he said as all eyes turned toward him. He reached into his sack lunch and pulled out an apple and began eating it. “Sir …” CRUNCH, MUNCH … “My question is a simple question, “CRUNCH, MUNCH … “Now I ain’t never read them books you read … ” CRUNCH,MUNCH … “and I can’t recite the Scriptures in the original Greek … “CRUNCH, MUNCH … “I don’t know nothin’ about Niebuhr and Heidegger …”CRUNCH, MUNCH … He continued with the apple. “All I wanna know is: This apple I just ate — was it bitter or sweet?”

He paused for a moment and answered in exemplary scholarly fashion: “I cannot possibly answer that question, for I haven’t tasted your apple.”

The white-haired preacher dropped the core of his apple into his crumpled paper bag, looked up at the speaker and said calmly, “Neither have you tasted my Jesus.”

The 1,000 plus in attendance could not contain themselves. The auditorium erupted with applause and cheers. He thanked his audience and promptly left the platform.

Have you tasted Jesus? In Psalms 34:8 we read: “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” If you have, then rejoice in the hope of the resurrection that your faith in Him brings.

Remember one important thing. God created the Church and we are to use our spiritual gifts first within it and we are to serve Jesus in it. It only becomes a problem when some men turn it into their church versus Jesus church. So do not use this challenge as an excuse to stop fellowshipping. You are needed by your Savior in His Church. Have a great day developing your relationship with Jesus!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Heb 10:23-25 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Rom 1:20 “For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made. So men are without excuse.