Who is the Author of the Bible…

Author of Scripture

Is the Gospel of John a book of John’s words and wisdom and is John the author? Is the book of Romans a book of Paul’s words and wisdom? The same question applies to the other books of scripture. The thoughts, words and wisdom in scripture are from whom is the question.

Are the scriptures actually the word, thoughts and philosophies of God and not the books of men? If they are the words of God and not men we then have the ONLY source of truth we will ever need to find truth!!  One of my bibles has the words that Jesus spoke outlined in red. There is a danger in thinking that only those words are God’s words. I remember a 6th grader saying to me during an AWANA night that those red letters means that God is speaking. God inspired and protects the words in black print also.

I don’t know about you but the scripture takes on a much more important place in my life when just Who is speaking to me is recognized as God!!!!!

II Tim 3:16,117 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be made perfect
thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

II Peter 3:18 “Knowing this first that no prophesy of scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophesy came not in old times by the will of men, but holy men of God spoke, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

Isa 55:10,11 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth and make it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Who’s writings and counsel do you turn to?

Psalm 1:1-4 “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in the law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth it’s fruit in it’s season, and whatever he does shall prosper.”

While we are on the topic of scriptures Author and the importance it plays in our lives listen and heed the following.

Rev 22:18-20 “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”

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What is your Focus in Life…

What is your Focus in Life!

So this morning you are focused on something for today and something for the future. What do you strive for? In the OT the following request by Solomon for how the future would play out pleased God. In the start of his life he had a focus that made eternal sense!!! Listen for what his desire was.

1 Kings 3:5-11 “In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;”

The start was great but unfortunately Solomons’ focus changed as life progressed. He later in life began to strive for riches and allowed the temptations of the world to be his downfall. Sounds familiar does it not?  He left us with a valuable lesson to pay attention to. He had every spiritual and material blessing a believer would desire and need to be happy and content. He had everything the world could offer. More importantly he had God’s full support. His flesh gave into pride and the temptations of the world. Knowing that he had it all in the start and lost it we do well to listen to his last words of advise……………..so that we do not make the same sinful mistakes!

Eccles. 12:13-14 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil”.

God’s Goodness and Mercy…..

Ephes. 4:30 “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

Shirley Goodnest and Marcy will protect you…..

A mom was concerned about her kindergarten son walking to school. He didn’t want his mother to walk with him. She wanted to give him the feeling that he had some independence but yet know that he was safe. So she had an idea of how to handle it. She asked a neighbor, Mrs. Goodnest, if she would please follow him to school in the mornings, staying at a distance, so he probably wouldn’t notice her.

Mrs. Goodnest said that since she was up early with her toddler anyway, it would be a good way for them to get some exercise as well, so she agreed. The next school day, Mrs. Goodnest and her little girl, Marcy, set out following behind Timmy as he walked to school with another neighbor boy he knew. She did this for the whole week.

As the boys walked and chatted, kicking stones and twigs, Timmy’s little friend noticed the same lady was following them as she seemed to do every day all week. Finally he said to Timmy, “Have you noticed that lady following us to school all week? Do you know her?”

Timmy nonchalantly replied, “Yeah, I know who she is”.

The friend said, “Well, who is she”?

“That’s just Shirley Goodnest”, Timmy replied, “and her daughter Marcy”.

“Shirley Goodnest? Who the heck is she and why is she following us”?

“Well”, Timmy explained, “every night my Mom makes me say the 23rd Psalm with my prayers, ‘cuz she worries about me so much. And in the Psalm, it says, ‘Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life’, so I guess I’ll just have to get used to it”!

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord makes his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Numbers 6:22-26 (And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”

May Shirley Goodnest and Marcy be with you today, and always.

Jesus Blood for our Freedom….

John 19:17-18a “and He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the place of the skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. Where they crucified Him.”

Jesus Blood for our Freedom

There once was a man named George Thomas, a pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit.

Several eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak. “I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me, swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright. I stopped the lad and asked, ‘What you got there son?”

“Just some old birds,” came the reply.

“What are you gonna do with them?” I asked.

“Take ’em home and have fun with ’em. I’m gonna tease ’em
and pull out their feathers to make ’em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”

“But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?”

“Oh, I got some cats. They like birds. I’ll take ’em to them.”

The pastor was silent for a moment. “How much do you want for those birds, son?”

“Huh??!!! Why, you don’t want them birds, mister. They’re just plain old field birds. They don’t sing-they ain’t even pretty!”

“How much?”

The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, “$10?”

The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten-dollar bill. He placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars, persuaded the birds out, setting them free.

Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story.

One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. “Yes sir, I just caught the world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got ’em all!”

“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked.

“Oh, I’m gonna have fun! I’m gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I’m really gonna have fun!”

“And what will you do when you get done with them?” Jesus asked.

“Oh, I’ll kill ’em.”

“How much do you want for them?”

“Oh, you don’t want those people. They ain’t no good. Why, you take them and they’ll just hate you. They’ll spit on you, curse you and kill you!! You don’t want those people!!”

“HOW MUCH?”

Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, “All your tears, and all your blood.”

Jesus paid the price. He picked up the cage…
HE OPENED THE DOOR.

John 19:17-18a “and He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the place of the skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. Where they crucified Him.”

 Heb 9:22 “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.”

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.”

In God we Trust….

Romans 13:1a “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities…”

In God we Trust…..

The one dollar bill you’re looking at first came off the presses in 1957 in its present design. This so-called paper money is in fact a cotton and linen blend, with red and blue minute silk fibers running through it. It is actually material. We’ve all washed it without it falling apart. A special blend of ink is used, the contents we will never know.

It is overprinted with symbols and then it is starched to make it water resistant and pressed to give it that nice crisp look. If you look on the front of the bill, you will see the scales for the balanced budget. In the center you have a carpenter’s T-square, a tool used for an even cut. Underneath is the Key to the United States Treasury. That’s all pretty easy to figure out, but what is on the back of that dollar bill is something we should all know.

If you turn the bill over, you will see two circles. Both circles, together, comprise the Great Seal of the United States. The First Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin and a group of men come up with a Seal.

It took them four years to accomplish this task and another two years to get it approved. If you look at the left-hand circle, you will see a Pyramid. Notice the face is lighted and the western side is dark. This country was just beginning. We had not begun to explore the West or decided what we could do for Western Civilization.

The Pyramid is uncapped, again signifying that we were not even close to being finished. Inside the capstone you have the all-seeing eye, an ancient symbol for divinity. It was Franklin’s belief that one man couldn’t do it alone, but a group of men, with the help of God, could do anything.

“IN GOD WE TRUST” is on this currency. The Latin above the pyramid, ANNUIT COEPTIS, means, “God has favored our undertaking.” The Latin below the pyramid, NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM means, “A new order has begun.” At the base of the pyramid is the Roman numeral for 1776.

If you look at the right-hand circle, and check it carefully, you will learn that it is on every National Cemetery in the United States. It is also on the Parade of Flags Walkway at the Bushnell, Florida National Cemetery and is the centerpiece of most heroes’ monuments. Slightly modified, it is the seal of the President of the United States and it is always visible whenever he speaks; yet no one knows what the symbols mean.

The Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol for victory for two reasons: first, he is not afraid of a storm; he is strong and he is smart enough to soar above it. Secondly, he wears no material crown. We had just broken from the King of England.

Also, notice the shield is unsupported. This country can now stand on its own. At the top of that shield you have a white bar signifying congress, a unifying factor. We were coming together as one nation. In the Eagle’s beak you will read,

“E PLURIBUS UNUM”, meaning “one nation from many people.” Above the Eagle you have thirteen stars representing the original colonies, and any clouds of misunderstanding rolling away. Again, we were coming together as one. Notice what the Eagle holds in his talons. He holds an olive branch and arrows. This country wants peace, but we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace. The Eagle always wants to face the olive branch, but in time of war, his gaze turns toward the arrows.

In God we trust is still as relevant as when the founders of our country placed it on our currency. If not, then our nation is in big trouble.

Romans 13:1 “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there
is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.”

Mr. Miller’s Roadside Stand…Life’s Lessons….

James 2:15, 16 “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute
of food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be
warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things
which are needed for the body, what does it profit?”

Mr. Miller’s Roadside Stand:

During the waning years of the depression in a
small southeastern Idaho community, I used to stop by
Mr. Miller’s roadside stand for farm-fresh produce
as the season made it available. Food and money were still
extremely scarce and bartering was used, extensively.

One particular day Mr. Miller was bagging some
early potatoes for me. I noticed a small boy, delicate of
bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily appraising a
basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the
display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed
peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn’t
help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller
and the ragged boy next to me.

“Hello Barry, how are you today?”

“H’lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus’ admirin’ them
peas……sure look good.”

“They are good, Barry. How’s your Ma?”

“Fine. Gittin’ stronger alla’ time.”

“Good. Anything I can help you with?”

“No, Sir. Jus’ admirin’ them peas.”

“Would you like to take some home?”

“No, Sir. Got nuthin’ to pay for ’em with.”

“Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?”

“All I got’s my prize marble here.”

“Is that right? Let me see it.”

“Here ’tis. She’s a dandy.”

“I can see that. Hmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and
I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?”

“Not ‘zackley…..but, almost.”

“Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and
next trip this way let me look at that red marble.”

“Sure will. Thanks, Mr. Miller.”

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over
to help me. With a smile she said: “There are two other boys
like him in our community, all three are in very poor
circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas,
apples, tomatoes or whatever. When they come back with their
red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn’t like
red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for
a green marble or an orange one, perhaps.”

I left the stand, smiling to myself, impressed with
this man. A short time later I moved to Utah but I never forgot
the story of this man, the boys and their bartering. Several
years went by each more rapid than the previous one. Just
recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho
community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had
died.

They were having his viewing that evening and knowing my
friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon our arrival
at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the
deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an
army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and
white shirts…very professional looking.

They approached Mrs. Miller, standing smiling and composed,
by her husband’s casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed
her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.
Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young
man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale
hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary, awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and
mentioned the story she had told me about the marbles. Eyes
glistening she took my hand and led me to the casket. “Those three
young men, that just left, were the boys I told you about. They just
told me how they appreciated the things Jim “traded” them. Now, at
last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size…they
came to pay their debt.

We’ve never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,” she
confided, “but, right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man
in Idaho.”

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her
deceased husband. Resting underneath were three, magnificently shiny,
red marbles.

“We will not be remembered by our words, but by our life and
kind deeds.”

How will you be remembered?

Mat 20:26b-28 “…but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation….

I Thes 5:16-18 “Rejoice evermore, Pray without ceasing,
In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in
Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation!

Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation created a reference point for a country in the midst of civil war and urged citizens to pause and give thanks for its blessings. That proclamation continues to serve us well during times of uncertainty. It concludes like this:

“I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of a Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.

And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascription’s justly due to Him for such singular deliverance’s and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony and tranquility and Union.”

Psalm 118:1 “O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good;
because His mercy endures forever.”