Maranatha Devotionals
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Monday, July 31, 2006

Discouragement - Day 3

Troubled On Every Side

2 Cor. 4:8, We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

As I read this verse, it amazed me how consistent Paul was in his walk. Have you ever been troubled on every side of your life? Usually, we have troubles in one or two areas but there is at least some stability in the other areas. Paul states that he was troubled on every side. I've been in this situation once or twice in my Christian walk and it was a very difficult time in my life. However, I remember drowning myself in the Book of Psalms and feeling the Lord's presence through it all. Psalm 27 was especially a blessing to me during these difficult times. My discouragement lasted but a short time and was replaced with that peace which surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7). Paul said that although he was troubled on every side he was not distressed. The Lord brought him through - a peace was evident by his testimony in 2 Cor. 4:8. Can you say that about your trials?

Paul continues to say that although he was puzzled and perplexed about the situations around him, he was not in despair. As he looked at his circumstances, he was not without hope because Paul knew that the Lord was in charge no matter how much chaos was in his life. Can you say that, dear Christian? What did Paul have that you don't have? Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isa 26:3)

There's the word "trust" again. When we trust in the Lord to take care of each situation in our life, He provides us with a peace that is perfect. Isn't that just like the Lord? He does not provide just a little peace or just enough to get by at the moment. The Lord provides that perfect peace. What do we need to do to receive that perfect peace? Our minds must be stayed on the Lord. Noah Webster says that the word stayed means "fixed; settle; sober." That depicts a heart that is focused on the Lord; a heart that has been reading the Word and is not swayed by life's billows. NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105)

The Christian's life is like an ocean. There are times it is calm and beautiful. There are also times of storm where the waves come crashing down. But remember, my friend, the Lord Himself calmed the seas (Mark 4:39) - He is the Creator of those same seas. He can and will calm your troubled seas in your life. You must trust in Him and lean on Him during these troubled times. Again, that word trust comes into play. When we try to figure out our circumstances on our own, we are overwhelmed by it all. We become consumed with our own problems. The Lord doesn't want us to be in this state of turmoil. God will work in your situation - it may not be the way you think or expect, but He will work in your life! That is why He tells us to trust in Him and not try to figure things out for ourselves. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Pro 3:5)

Remember, that God's ways are not our ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa 55:9) Our Father in Heaven sees the big picture. I once read that if we viewed a train running down the tracks from an airplane, we would be able to see where the train had been and where it was going. This helps us to visualize how God sees our lives. He can see where we're going - in fact, He knows the beginning, middle and end of our lives. It cannot get any better than that. The Lord wants to help us through our trials - He knows the outcome and is capable of providing just what we need to make it through! What great comfort that is!
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (Joh 14:27)

I cannot stress enough how discouragement can be alleviated in our lives if we just spend more time at the Saviour's feet. How? Get in the Word, Christian! It is the Source for healing!

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Discouragement - Day 2

Overcoming Discouragement

Romans 5:3-4 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (3) And patience, experience; and experience, hope: (4)

Have you ever noticed that discouragement is not brought on by happy times? Nor does discouragement appear in our lives while we are having a sweet walk with the Lord. Discouragement always comes when we are in the midst of some kind of trial. These trials come in various forms: long-term physical problems, relationship problems, work-related problems, family problems, money problems, etc. There is not a human being that has ever lived who has not been through trials or tribulation.

How, then, can we overcome these trials? Not everything in life has quick solutions. Nor are there answers to every question. However, the Bible says in Romans 5:3-4 that we should glory in our tribulations. I remember reading this and thinking to myself, "Is Paul nuts here?" There is no way that I can glory in this trial! I do not believe that Paul is asking us to do that. We must read the entire verse to fully understand what Paul's intentions were. I believe Paul was telling us that we can glory in our trials because trials work patience in our lives. Why patience?

Let's take the trial of being over weight and dieting. Dieting is not an overnight success. It's an arduous and difficult thing to do. The weight loss is gradual and at times painful - especially when exercise must be done :-) Because of the amount of time it takes to lose weight, we can safely say that we have learned to be patient with the fact that we will not lose 20 lbs overnight. Many trials help us in the patience department.

I think of being persecuted by unbelievers at work as being a trial. Our patience with our co-workers will be a testimony to them when they think about how we did not fight back when we were criticized or when they poked fun at our christianity. There's also the trial of being married to an unbeliever. The saved spouse surely learns patience as he/she tries to live harmoniously with that unbelieving spouse. That patience, again, is a testimony to the unbeliever.

Another difficult trial for the believer is the one of waiting on the Lord to answer our prayers. God does not always answer yes or no, or even answer quickly. If your trial today fits under this category, remember to trust the Lord. The first blog on "discouragement" touched on this. If we get discouraged because God has not answered our prayer yet or He did not answer it in the way we wanted, we are saying that we do not trust Him. Any of you who have children would be heart broken to see your child in a state of discouragement only to find out it is because he has sat up worrying or wondering if you were going to take care of him! Wouldn't your response to your child be "You can trust me, honey." My friend, your parenting skills cannot surpass the Lord's parenting skills. How much more will He care for you?

Then Paul says that patience brings about experience. Experience, in my opinion, is the best teacher. Throughout my 26 years of salvation, I have seen God's hand in each trial. You're heard the saying, "Hind sight is 20/20." This should be true in the life of the believer. We should look back after each trial and recognize God's hand in that trial. We should give Him the glory and honor for bringing us through it. When we recognize His work in our lives at the time of each trial, we form a pattern of history if you will. Then when the next trial comes, we know through experience that God will take care of this one as well. How can we be discouraged if we know through experience that God will take care of us during this trial?

Paul ends the verses saying that experience will bring hope! Oh what a wonderful word! Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb 11:1) We hope in the fact that God will take care of our trial. We can't envision how He will do it, but He will do it. If we have no hope, the Word says it is because we are not in our Bibles. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17) You shouldn't have to wait on your Pastor to preach to you. The Holy Spirit should be preaching to you daily through your Bible reading. The only way to build your faith according to Romans 10:17 is by the Word of God. Do you have little faith? Then get in the Word, my friend. Faith is like a muscle, it must be exercised through the reading of the Word. Little faith equals little reading of the Word. Strong faith equals much reading in the Word. You will get what you put into it and more according to the Word. It is similar to the sowing & reaping teaching. You plant one kernel of corn and you reap a stalk with 3-4 ears of corn with about 800 kernels per ear. You sure do get a lot more reaping than what you have sown! God cannot be out done. If you trust Him, He will bless you. He will not leave you nor forsake you! Heb. 13:5

There are many Christians who are able to overcome trials and they do so because they are in the Word faithfully. They do not neglect the Word when times get rough. Going to God only when you're in "need" is not the way to build your faith. It's like only getting fuel for your car once you're stalled out on the road. By that time, it's too late. The problem is at hand. You get fuel before the fuel light comes on and avoid running out of gas on the side of the road. It's the same with discouragement. Don't turn to God only at the time of discouragement. You should be "fueling" yourself in the Word of God every day. This will prevent you from getting to that point where you feel like you can't go on. Wouldn't you hate it if your son or daughter only spoke to you or came to you when he/she was in trouble? On top of that, that same child would not trust you to be able to handle the problem? Again, the Lord is a much better parent than you could possibly ever be.

If you have a problem with discouragement, my friend, then the best scriptural advice I can give you is to get into the Word faithfully. You, too, will be able to say, "But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works." (Psa 73:28)

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

Discouragement - Day 1

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (Joh 14:27)

Jesus promises to give us peace as born-again Christians. What a lovely and wonderful thing to give someone. Can you give peace to someone else? The only way I can personally give peace to someone else is by not making their life miserable, I suppose. But this is not the peace that Jesus is talking about here. This peace is a rest and quietness from within which goes beyond what a human being can give another. I cannot provide rest and quietness to anyone's heart. Only the Lord can do that.

How can we as Christians receive this peace that Jesus promises to give us? This peace starts out in our lives the moment we repent and ask Jesus to save us. This peace is knowing that we will never have to worry about going to hell! There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Rom 8:1)

But there is more peace to follow - Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (Mat 6:31) (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (Mat 6:32)

Are you afraid, Christian? What are you afraid of? Unpaid bills? Not knowing what the future holds? Enemies of the cross? Oh dear one, nothing can happen to us without the Lord knowing about it.

1 Pet. 3:12-15, "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. (And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; (But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"

Discouragement comes from lack of trust. Have you ever noticed some believers who never let anything get to them? When everything seems to go wrong in their life, you would never know it by their actions? Yet other Christians seem to live a life of constant defeat. What is it that makes the difference? I believe there are two important things a Christian must do to rid himself of discouragement.

(1) Trusting the Lord to take care of one's problems, no matter how desperate the situation appears, is one key to ridding ourselves of discouragement. The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. (2Sa 22:3)

(2) Filling ourselves with the Word of God is the second key to ridding ourselves of discouragement. Christian, are you stricken with an illness which will be with you until the Lord takes you home? Fill yourself with the Word of God - take comfort in the Scriptures! Encourage yourself with the Word - this was the greatest achievement of the author of Psalm 119, in my opinion. No matter how desperate the circumstances were in his life, he encouraged himself with the Word. DALETH. My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word. (Psa 119:25) This man's spirit was so down (down in the dumps, if you will) but he knew that God's Word would quicken him (make him alive) again.

As born-again believers, we have received the Holy Spirit to not only teach us but to comfort us. It is the Spirit that makes us alive in Christ. If we feed the spirit, we will be encouraged in our spirit. However, when we feed the flesh and dwell on our circumstances, we reap discouragement. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Rom 8:11)

You may believe that this is easier said than done. However, Job was stricken in so many ways yet God encouraged Job to remember who HE was. Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? (Job 40:9) God knows exactly what you need - so much so that the Holy Spirit prays for you when you just can't! What a loving God we have! Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Rom 8:26) God knows our troubles and sorrows to such a depth that He provided His Spirit to make intercession for us because He knew that we would not be able to put into words just how discouraged we are! What love the Father has for us!!!

Be encouraged - Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? (Job 40:9) This same God is looking out for you!

All the way my Saviour leads me,
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate'er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

Fanny Crosby

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Treatment of Brothers and Sisters in Christ

The Lord left us with specific instructions on how to deal with the brethren - no matter how old a brother or sister is in the Lord! How does God want us to treat those who are younger in the faith? For that mater, how does God want us to treat anyone in the faith? Peter's account of how we should behave ourselves in this area is quite clear.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; (2Pe 1:5)

And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; (2Pe 1:6)

And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (2Pe 1:7)

For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2Pe 1:8)

Let's list the characteristics Peter instructs us to add to our faith along with Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary definition for that characteristic. I must say that this brings conviction to my heart:

1. Virtue - Moral goodness; the practice of moral duties and the abstaining from vice, or a conformity of life and conversation to the moral law. In this sense, virtue may be, and in many instances must be, distinguished from religion. The practice of moral duties merely from motives of convenience, or from compulsion, or from regard to reputation, is virtue, as distinct from religion. The practice of moral duties from sincere love to God and his laws, is virtue and religion.

Those who have been saved for many years and have grown in the Lord should exercise these characteristics rather than harshly instruct the spiritually younger. We should not instruct the spiritually younger if we are not living virtuously - in other words, we should practice what we are about to preach.

2. Knowledge - A clear and certain perception of that which exists, or of truth and fact; the perception of the connection and agreement, or disagreement and repugnancy of our ideas. We can have no knowledge of that which does not exist. God has a perfect knowledge of all his works. Human knowledge is very limited, and is mostly gained by observation and experience.

Also, we should be knowledgeable in what we are teaching the spiritually younger and not just voicing an opinion. We should stand ready to back up what we are stating with the Scriptures.

3. Temperance - Patience; calmness; sedateness; moderation of passion.

Why would the Lord put temperance here? Why would we need temperance toward new believers? I found this quite interesting actually. Sometimes we are so passionate about a certain topic that we lose our patience when a younger believer questions why we believe it. This truly opened my eyes today. How many times have I been quick to admonish a younger believer over using the NIV or "social drinking"! I surely was not practicing a moderation of my passion in these areas. I should, instead, with that patience share that knowledge of Scriptures to back up my passion. It's the Word of God that will have the best impact on the spiritually younger believer... not my opinion. It's the Word of God that taught me ... why should it be any different for them? In fact, this can go even further and include those in our church who have been sitting under the teaching for years yet still are babes in Christ. Not all children grow at the same pace - so why should I think that all believers will grow at the same spiritual pace. Our temperance is so necessary so that we do not blast them or bull doze them with our beliefs but gently encourage them with the Word.

4. Patience - A calm temper which bears evils without murmuring or discontent

Hmmmmm, what a statement! Do I bear evils without murmuring or discontent when I practice my patience?

5. Godliness - A religious life; a careful observance of the laws of God and performance of religious duties, proceeding from love and reverence for the divine character and commands; christian obedience.

Do I practice christian obedience? Before I am quick to correct another believer, I must remember Christ's words in Matt. 7:5 "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

6. Brotherly kindness - Toward your brothers and sisters in Christ: Good will; benevolence; that temper or disposition which delights in contributing to the happiness of others, which is exercised cheerfully in gratifying their wishes, supplying their wants or alleviating their distresses; benignity of nature. Kindness ever accompanies love.

Do I contribute to the happiness of my brothers and sisters in Christ? If not, why not? Or do I ignore them and/or burden them with my actions or words?

7. Charity - In a general sense, love, benevolence, good will; that disposition of heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good. In a theological sense, it includes supreme love to God, and universal good will to men.

I love Noah Webster's definition under brotherly kindness - he states "Kindness ever accompanies love." When we truly love the brethren, we will be kind to them. Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: (1Pe 3:8)

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Compare the 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Bible

Listed below are just a few teachings from the 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church along with verses from the Bible indicating whether that teaching is scriptural or not.

After I received Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour, I desired to question and search things out for myself. After years of being told what to believe by my parish priest, I was now able to read my own Bible and study for myself. I was able to question the Word of God directly and not my parish priest.

I write this to encourage my Catholic friends and family to search for themselves. You would not allow someone else to chew your food and then give it to you to swallow, would you? Of course not! But you do, my friend, each time you sit in church and listen to the priest and you don't prove it out for yourself through the Bible!

Do you open the Bible to search out for yourself whether the things you believe have truly come from God? If not, WHY not? God commands that we do our own studying. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2Ti 2:15) Paul doesn't tell the people to leave it up to him to divide the word of truth. Paul tells his people to do this for themselves! Furthermore, Paul doesn't tell them to study so that they can be approved of men, but approved unto God!

The Catholics are no different in their lack of studying and lack of knowing what God's Word actually said. They are as guilty as the Jews for following the traditions of men instead of God's Word. The Apostle Paul encouraged the Jewish Christians not to listen to those fables and man-made commandments because they deceived the people. "Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth." (Tit 1:14) and "Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men..." Mark 7:7-8 and "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." Colossians 2:8

What does the Bible say in response to some of the doctrines Catholics have been taught? Please don't just stop reading here but take a moment to read on. If the truth is revealed to your heart, then this blog has fulfilled its purpose. This same Truth set me free over 26 years ago and I have never looked back. I pray that I can make an impact on as many Catholics as possible before the rapture or my death occurs! "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (Joh 8:32)

Who/What is our final authority?

Catholic Doctrine Says:

*The 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church declares: "It is clear therefore that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way, under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls." (Pg. 29, #95)

The Bible says:

"For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God..." 1 Thessalonians 2:13

What is salvation based on?

Catholic Doctrine Says:

"The Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism explains: 'For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained.'" Pg. 215, #816.

Here, the 1994 catechism confirms the existing teaching of Vatican II, that salvation is only through the Roman Catholic church:

"...all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body: Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation..." Pg. 224, #846

The Bible says:

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (Joh 14:6) and

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Act 4:12) and

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Rom 1:16) and

"For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death." (2Co 7:10) and

"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise," (Eph 1:13) and

"For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ," (1Th 5:9) and

"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." (2Ti 3:15)

Who Has the Power To Forgive Sins?

Catholic Doctrine Says:

"There is no offense, however serious, that the Church cannot forgive." Pg. 256, #982

"By Christ's will, the Church possesses the power to forgive the sins of the baptized..." Pg. 257, #986

"The Church, who through the bishop and his priests forgives sins in the name of Jesus Christ..." Pg. 363-364, #1448.

The Bible says:

"Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?" Mark 2:7 and

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32 and

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

"I acknowledged my sin unto thee... I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin..." Psalm 32:5

King David went directly to God to ask forgiveness for his sins: "Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins." Psalm 25:18 and

"Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight..." Psalm 51:2,4.

King Solomon also: "Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive." 2 Chronicles 6:21 and

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14.

No one has to go through a church to receive forgiveness but to God Himself: "For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee." Psalm 86:5 and "... if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." Colossians 3:13

Does Mary Truly Save?

Catholic Doctrine Says:

"Taken up to heaven she (Mary) did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation..." Pg. 252, #969

"Being obedient she (Mary) became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race." Pg. 125, #494

"She (Mary) is inseparably linked with the saving work of her Son." Pg. 303, #1172

The Bible says:

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12

Jesus Himself declared that He is the ONLY way to heaven: "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6 and

"I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved... " John 10:9 and

"I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no Saviour." Isaiah 43:11 and

"Yet I am the LORD thy God... there is no Saviour beside me." Hosea 13:4 and "The God of my rock he is... my Saviour..." 2 Samuel 22:3 and

"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:21.

After Jesus' birth, the angel repeated himself: "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11.

Over and over, we read that Jesus is the Saviour: "... we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world." John 4:42 and

"Him (Jesus) hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour..." Acts 5:31 and

"Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:" Acts 13:23 and

"But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ..." 2 Timothy 1:10 and

"Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour." Titus 1:4 and

"Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;" Titus 3:6 and

"... the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world." 1 John 4:14

Who is Our Intercessor:

Catholic Doctrine Says:

"Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix." Pg. 252, #969

The Bible says:

"...if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:" 1 John 2:1 and

"Behold, God is mine helper..." Psalm 54:4 and

"So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." Hebrews 13:6 and

"Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all." Psalm 34:19 and

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;" 1 Timothy 2:5

"And for this cause he (Christ) is the mediator of the new testament..." Hebrews 9:15 and

"For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands... but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:" Hebrews 9:24 and

"Wherefore he (Jesus) is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Hebrews 7:25 and

"... It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." Romans 8:34 and

"... he (Jesus) maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." Romans 8:27 and

"For through him (Jesus) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father." Ephesians 2:18 and

"According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access..." Ephesians 3:11-12 and

"For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." 1 Corinthians 2:2

Who Can Interpret God's Word?

Catholic Doctrine Says:

"The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him." Pg. 30, #100

The Bible says:

"... received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11.

In other words, they interpreted the Scriptures for themselves with the help of the Holy Spirit. "And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?" Mark 12:24.

Why did Jesus chastise the Sadducees for not knowing the Scriptures if it was impossible for them to interpret them? And why did Peter, Catholicism's first " pope," declare the following? "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." 2 Peter 1:20.

Why does Paul instruct us to study the Bible if we can't interpret it? "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15.

Jesus admonished the Jews to: "Search the scriptures..." John 5:39 and

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:26 and

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth..." John 16:13.

The Apostle Paul recognized that the Holy Spirit was the One who taught him: "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual." 1 Corinthians 2:13 and

"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." 1 Corinthians 2:12.

Why are Christians commanded to memorize the Scriptures if they can't understand them? "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Psalm 119:11 and

"Keep my commandments, and live... write them upon the table of thine heart." Proverbs 7:2-3.

I pray that today's blog has given my Catholic friends just one iota of encouragement to dig in God's Word for themselves. You will be held accountable for your own studying. "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Act 17:11)

*Taken from the 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church

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Battle Hymn of the Republic

In light of what we Christians are witnessing today with the war between Israel and Lebanon, one can't help but stand at attention and look up! I encourage you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, to be on the alert - be vigilent - and be working toward snatching souls from hell's flames before it is eternally too late for us!

Won't you join me as I rejoice in the Lord, Jesus Christ? He is our Saviour! He is our Deliverer! He is Almighty God! We will be seeing Him soon!!

Here's a little history from http://www.cyberhymnal.org/ on this song, Battle Hymn of the Republic:

Words: Ju­lia W. Howe, 1861, alt. This hymn was born dur­ing the Amer­i­can ci­vil war, when Howe vis­it­ed a Un­ion Ar­my camp on the Po­to­mac Riv­er near Wash­ing­ton, D.C. She heard the sol­diers sing­ing the song “John Brown’s Body,” and was tak­en with the strong march­ing beat. She wrote the words the next day:

I awoke in the grey of the morn­ing, and as I lay wait­ing for dawn, the long lines of the de­sired po­em be­gan to en­twine them­selves in my mind, and I said to my­self, “I must get up and write these vers­es, lest I fall asleep and for­get them!” So I sprang out of bed and in the dim­ness found an old stump of a pen, which I re­mem­bered us­ing the day be­fore. I scrawled the vers­es al­most with­out look­ing at the p­aper.

Music: John Brown’s Bo­dy, poss­i­bly by John Will­iam Steffe. John Brown was an American abo­li­tion­ist who led a short lived in­­sur­­rect­­ion to free the slaves.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal”;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,
Since God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;

Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet;
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free;
[originally …let us die to make men free]
While God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! While God is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave,

Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Tears

There are trials that cause us to shed so many tears, you feel as though there could not possibly be any more to shed. I am going through one of those trials in my life and I needed to encourage myself with today's blog. I decided I would look up verses with the word "tears" and see what the Lord gives to me.

I noticed that tears are shed for various reasons - but not one tear goes unnoticed by our Heavenly Father.

Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? (Psa 56:8) and

Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD. (2Ki 20:5) and

Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. (Isa 38:5)

Different types of tears:

When friends (or even family) scorn us: My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God. (Job 16:20)

When we go through personal trial or turmoil: I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. (Psa 6:6)

When we receive deliverance and direction from God: For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. (Psa 116:8)

Tears resulting from spiritual warfare and work: Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. (Jer 31:16)

When family trials overwhelm us and faith is little: And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (Mar 9:24)

When we receive true repentance: And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. (Luk 7:38)

When we receive correction: And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. (Luk 7:44)

When we serve God: Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: (Act 20:19)

When the man of God preaches and Exhorts the brethren: Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (Act 20:31)

When we suffer affliction and anguish for others: For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you. (2Co 2:4)

When we remember the brethren: Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; (2Ti 1:4)

The end of them all: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Rev 21:4)

and God will wipe away every tear! He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it. (Isa 25:8)

We need to remember that the battles here on this earth are not ours but God's. His Word says so:

And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands. (1Sa 17:47)

And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's. (2Ch 20:15)

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Rightly Dividing The Word of Truth

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2Ti 2:15)

Whenever I study the Word, I use Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary. I stay away from commentaries because I don't want someone else's gleaning but my own. On occasion, I like to look up the modern-day definition of a word and am so surprised at how "liquified" the definition has become through the years. In fact, at times the definition is far from what was intended when the King James Bible was given to us in 1611!! I thought I would share with you some examples, which I believe will surprise you. I did not alter the definitions at all but simply copied and pasted it.

I will list Merriam Webster's definition first (in blue) and then Noah Webster's 1828 definition (in red). I'll then put a Bible verse using the word. I'll let the definitions speak for themselves and you can draw your own conclusions. I hope this speaks to your heart as much as it did mine. I PRAY that it encourages you to study your Bible instead of assuming that the definition in your head is the truly the one God intended.

Sin

1 a : an offense against religious or moral law b : an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible - it's a sin to waste food c : an often serious shortcoming : FAULT
2 a : transgression of the law of God b : a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God
synonym see OFFENSE


1. The voluntary departure of a moral agent from a known rule of rectitude or duty, prescribed by God; any voluntary transgression of the divine law, or violation of a divine command; a wicked act; iniquity. Sin is either a positive act in which a known divine law is violated, or it is the voluntary neglect to obey a positive divine command, or a rule of duty clearly implied in such command. Sin comprehends not action only, but neglect of known duty, all evil thoughts purposes, words and desires, whatever is contrary to God's commands or law. 1 John 3. Matt. 15. James 4. Sinner neither enjoy the pleasures of nor the peace of piety. Among divines, sin is original or actual. Actual sin, above defined, is the act of a moral agent in violating a known rule of duty. Original sin, as generally understood, is native depravity of heart to the divine will, that corruption of nature of deterioration of the moral character of man, which is supposed to be the effect of Adam's apostasy; and which manifests itself in moral agents by positive act of disobedience to the divine will, or by the voluntary neglect to comply with the express commands of God, which require that we should love God with all the heart and soul and strength and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves. This native depravity or alienation of affections from God and his law, is supposed to be what the apostle calls the carnal mind or mindedness, which is enmity against God, and is therefore denominated sin or sinfulness. Unpardonable sin, or blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, is supposed to be a malicious and obstinate rejection of Christ and the gospel plan of salvation, or a contemptuous resistance made to the influences and convictions of the Holy Spirit. Matt.12.

2. A sin-offering; an offering made to atone for sin. He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin. 2 Cor 5.

3. A man enormously wicked. [Not in use.]

4. Sin differs from crime, not in nature, but in application. That which is a crime against society, is sin against God.


He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (1Jo 3:8)

Sacrifice (noun)

1 : an act of offering to a deity something precious; especially : the killing of a victim on an altar
2 : something offered in sacrifice
3 a : destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else b : something given up or lost
4 : LOSS
5 : SACRIFICE HIT


1. An offering made to God by killing and burning some animal upon an altar, as an acknowledgment of his power and providence, or to make atonement for sin, appease his wrath or conciliate his favor, or to express thankfulness for his benefits. Sacrifices have been common to most nations, and have been offered to false gods, as well as by the Israelites to Jehovah. A sacrifice differs from an oblation; the latter being an offering of a thing entire or without change, as tithes or first fruits; whereas sacrifice implies a destruction or killing, as of a beast. Sacrifices are expiatory, impetratory, and eucharistical; that is, atoning for sin, seeking favor, or expressing thanks.

Human sacrifices, the killing and offering of human beings to deities, have been practiced by some barbarous nations.

2. The thing offered to God, or immolated by an act of religion.

My life if thou preserv'st, my life thy sacrifice shall be.

3. Destruction, surrender or loss made or incurred for gaining some object, or for obliging another; as the sacrifice of interest to pleasure, or of pleasure to interest.

4. Any thing destroyed.


And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. (1Sa 15:22)

Repent

1 : to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life
2 a : to feel regret or contrition b : to change one's mind
transitive verb
1 : to cause to feel regret or contrition
2 : to feel sorrow, regret, or contrition for
- re·pent·er noun


1. To feel pain, sorrow or regret for something done or spoken; as, to repent that we have lost much time in idleness or sensual pleasure; to repent that we have injured or wounded the feelings of a friend. A person repents only of what he himself has done or said.

2. To express sorrow for something past.

Enobarbus did before thy face repent.

3. To change the mind in consequence of the inconvenience or injury done by past conduct.

Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return. Exo 13.

4. Applied to the Supreme Being, to change the course of providential dealings. Gen 6. Psa 106.

5. In theology, to sorrow or be pained for sin, as a violation of God's holy law, a dishonor to his character and government, and the foulest ingratitude to a Being of infinite benevolence.


I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
(Luk 13:3)


Please take special note at Merriam Webster's definition of sin - "fault"??? Can you wonder why the world today does not see sin the way God sees sin? Also compare the definitions for "repent"!

I pray this encourages you in your own personal study time. If we received God's Word in our hearts with the same fervency with which it was translated in 1611, I dare say there would be no question as to what the words "sin" and "repent" means. In so doing, our soul winning can be much more effective.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

If You Don't Care A Bit About God, This Is For You!

I don't know if anyone who does not love God would ever visit my little corner of the blog world - or even read my blogs. But if God should send someone here, I thought I would let them know what God thinks of them.

But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? (Psa 50:16) God asks what it's going to take for you to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord? Jesus is God's covenant to us. Without believing in Jesus Christ, you have no covenant with God. You have no chance of heaven!

Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. (Psa 50:17) God knows that you hate going to church or hearing anything about Him. He knows that if you do go to church, it is only because it is your obligation to do so. Your heart is really not into it. You don't even open a Bible! If you attend a church that doesn't even use Bibles in its services, then you are left to listen to what is preached and you don't even listen to that. You cast God's words behind you. Remember, you cannot fool God.

When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. (Psa 50:18)Do you even care if someone steals in your presence? Do you find it amusing that the thief "got away with it"? This was never more true than watching the news after Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana. Thieves were having a field day looting stores - the cameras caught them laughing as they stole things.

God goes on to say that the sinner has partaken with adulterers. Are you an adulterer? Have you cheated on your spouse? Jesus said that even if you lusted after another in your mind, you are guilty of adultery!

Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. (Psa 50:19) Cursing is all around us today. It is nothing to hear God's name in vain in public places. Lest you think it doesn't matter, it is still one of the Ten Commandments. Don't think God will overlook your cursing. The Bible says that everything we say is being "recorded" in Heaven and waiting for us to give an account of when we die.But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (Matthew 12:36)

What about lying? Does your tongue frame deceit? This does not only refer to lying but also cheating. There are many who deceive and cheat people out there today. Have you sold a car to someone and not divulged everything that was wrong with it? You are also breaking one of the Ten Commandments.

Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son. (Psa 50:20) You may have thought that slandering your family wasn't a big deal. God thinks differently. Just read on.

These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. (Psa 50:21) What things is God speak of here? (1) Not listening or heeding to God's instructions in the Bible (2)Stealing (3) Adultery (4)Blaspheming God (5) Lying and cheating, and (6) Blaspheming and slandering your own brother.

Have you done any of these things? I know that I had committed several of these things!

Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. (Psa 50:22) Unless you listen to this warning, God will tear you in pieces. You won't be able to hide anything from God when you stand before Him after you die. None of your friends will be there to protect you or save you from this event. I remember saying that I would meet my friends in Hell and we'd have a good time there together. Not according to God's Word!

Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God. (Psa 50:23) Anyone who desires to know about God will not go unrewarded. God will reward that person by showing him/her how to be saved. The Bible says: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (Joh 14:6) The Bible does not say that you can go to the Father in Heaven by Allah. The Bible does not say that you can go to the Father in Heaven by Buddah. The Bible does not say that you can go to the Father in Heaven by Joseph Smith. The Bible does not say that you can go to the Father in Heaven by the pope or any church for that matter. It is through Jesus Christ alone. Please take a moment and read the following verses with an open heart and mind:

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 6:23)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (Joh 3:16)

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: (Joh 11:25)

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (Joh 3:3)

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luk 13:3)

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8)

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Rom 10:9)

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Rom 10:10)

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Rom 10:13)


There is nothing you can do to get to Heaven. It is impossible for us to stop sinning! IMPOSSIBLE! After Adam and Eve sinned, that sin nature was passed on to every born after that. God did not make Adam and Eve that way. They were made perfect and without sin. But God did not create robots who had not choices in life and no will of their own. He created man to think for himself. Unfortunately for us, Adam and Eve's sin has left all of mankind with a choice. Do we admit that we cannot stop sinning and, therefore, are doomed to eternity in Hell? Eternity is too long and Hell is too hot for you to shrug this away, my friend.

It broke God's heart so much when His creation could not stop sinning. Even His chosen people, the Jews, could not stop despite the Ten Commandments, their sacrifices of spotless lambs, and the laws that had been created to rule them. It was this compassion and broken heart that led God to send Jesus Christ, His Son, to die for us, my friend. A perfect Lamb, Jesus Christ the Son of God, left His throne in Heaven to take on human form. Why this method? Jesus did this so that He could feel what we feel as human beings. He could experience the temptations but never sin. This made Him the perfect, sinless Lamb Who would be sacrificed for all mankind, not just the Jews.

Jesus Christ's work did not stop there. Not only did He die, but He arose from the dead three days later! A few weeks later, He ascended into Heaven and is waiting to come back in the air to take born-again Christians to Heaven! My friend, if you read the verses and the Holy Spirit of God has pricked your heart, won't you please pray and ask God to forgive you? Accept His Son's perfect sacrifice for your sins. Repent of your life style and change directions. If you pray these things with a sincere heart, God will hear you and save you. You will be born again - a brand new beginning - a brand new nature! You will now be a child of God! A child of God beginsto change immediately. The desires to curse, lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, etc. will either be completely taken away or will diminish. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2Co 5:17)

A Christian is not sinless but a Christian should sin less with each passing day. I pray that this post has been a blessing to someone today! If so, please share your blessing by posting a comment!

Father in Heaven, I lift up this blog to You today and pray that Your Spirit would direct someone here who would read it and his/her heart would be convicted. Father, I beg You for a soul as a result of this labor. I ask these things in Jesus' Precious Name. Amen.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (Psa 139:14) My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. (Psa 139:15) Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (Psa 139:16)

I've been doing a study on the use of birth control pills. I was reading how "the pill" prevented the egg from implantation into the uterus and how sometimes the egg has already been fertilized. This began to bother me so I did the study. Not because I need to convince myself that life begins when the egg is fertilized, but because some Christians don't seem to know when life begins. God's Word is the only tool we should use to convince ourselves as well as others. Man's opinions are many, but God's Word should be final to the believer.

I noticed in God's Word that He refers to man's "seed." I often wondered why God chose the same word for plant seeds as man's seeds. I researched the plant seed and when the seed comes to life (germination). This quote was taken from www.fastplants.org:

Germination is the awakening of a seed (embryo) from a resting state. It involves the harnessing of energy stored within the seed and is activated by components in the environment. Growth represents increase in size, number and complexity of plant cells and organs. Environment and genetics play fundamental roles in regulating growth. The energy for growth comes from photosynthesis


As you can see, a plant's seed life cycle is no different from the human's seed life cycle. We can almost take the same quote and replace germination with fertilization, etc. In fact, let's try that:

Fertilization is the awakening of the embryo from a resting state. It involves the harnessing of energy stored within the seed and is activated by components in the mother's body. Growth represents increase in size, number and complexity of the fetus' cells and organs. Environment and genetics play fundamental roles in regulating growth. The energy for growth comes from within the mother.


As you can see, I did not have to change much in that quote to convert it to a human seed definition. I have said all of this to make the following points. Please bear with me.

Christians today believe that taking birth control pills is a "private and personal" matter. They believe that the fertilized egg is not yet alive since science says the heart begins to beat at the earliest at 12 weeks. These same Christians back this belief with Leviticus 17:11 which says that life of the flesh is in blood. Therefore the Christian believes the fetus' life does not begin until at least 12 weeks because that is when the heart begins to pump blood. Let's pick that apart a bit.

I think we can all agree that NO cell can reproduce if it is a dead cell. Ovulation usually takes place in the middle of a woman's cycle. The egg can only be fertilized at this time. If the egg is fertilized, it will travel to the uterus and implant into the uterus. The woman will then miss her cycle and begin to suspect pregnancy. By the time she has missed her cycle, the egg has been growing for about a week or so.

If the egg is not fertilized, the egg is released with her next cycle. As well, if the egg is fertilized but the cells within it die, whether prior to implanation or afterwards, a miscarriage occurs. It stands to reason that the fetus does not continue to grow if the cells have died.

With that said, how then, can these same cells separate, divide and reproduce prior to 12 weeks prior to when the heart begins to beat if they are not alive? These same living cells are conducting "business as usual" prior to the heart even beginning to beat. This is science, plain and simple. One cannot refute this scientific fact. But does God's Word state the same facts? Should the Christian depend on science to know when life begins? Or should the Christian depend on God's Word to guide and direct in this area?

What then does God's Word have to say about when life begins? Psalm 139:16 states that God's eyes see our substance, yet being unperfect. The Greek word for unperfect is H1564 golem meaning unformed mass. The verse goes on to say that the members are written in Heaven when as yet they had no form. Each of our members are written in heaven. God has recorded in Heaven whether this baby's index finger will have a freckle on it or not or whether his big toe will curl in like its father. According to the Word, this fetus continually grows until birth.

Read the end of verse 16: when as yet there was none of them. Is God referring to the egg prior to fertilization here? I don't think so. This surely sounds like a fetus in its early stages having no form yet - no feet or hands - no heart or heart beat. When as yet there was none of what? Of them - the members! God's Word says that He has written in heaven everything about this fetus even when the members were not formed - even the heart! If God did not regard a fetus at conception through 12 weeks as a living soul, this verse would not be in the Word as it would be in direct contradiction.

God's ways and thoughts are not the same as ours. The knowledge of man and his science are taken as law amongst God's own. Just because man says that life does not begin until the fetus is at least 12 weeks does not mean that it is so according to God. God's Word says that His thoughts are not the same as man's. In fact, God wants to make it so perfectly clear that He emphasizes it by stating it twice, one right after the other! For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (Isa 55:8) For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa 55:9)

Some Christians will probably read this and say, "Well, what about the other 50% of the time where the egg is not fertilized?" OK, this is true ... but can you pick the time? How can you be sure that in the time one takes the birth control pill that an egg won't be fertilized at least once? Christian, are you willing to keep this baby from implantation into the mother's uterus? Are you willing to take the chance of losing a living soul that God has given you? That baby's members are written in heaven. That baby, yet unformed, is seen by God. That baby's cells started splitting and duplicating and separating the day the egg was fertilized. The day that egg was fertilized, life began because cells started separating and forming.

I pray that as Christians read this, they will realize that science has deceived the Christian into believing their agenda of convenient conception. Science conveniently can say that a cell is alive when it is splitting but then contradicts itself by saying that a fetus can be aborted because it has not been born yet. The "conservative" Christian says that the fetus IS alive but only when the heart begins to beat. But science and God come together and agree that when a cell begins to split, it is alive. It's not often that the Word and the world's science agree but they do agree on this point. Why then does the Christian say the fetus isn't alive prior to the heart beating? Please, Christian, won't you study the Word for yourself? I pray my study encourages you to get into the Word and study for yourself.

God's Word says Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (Psa 139:16)

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

To and Fro

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Eph 4:14)

I was studying these two verses this morning and why Paul would tell us to be no more children. Although the English word children fits nicely here and gives us the sense of striving toward spiritual growth, I looked up the Greek word for children and discovered that the word used here was not the usual word for children as we know it but meaning "figuratively a simple minded person, an immature Christian: - babe, childish"! Whoa! That surely puts punch to the verse now! An immature Christian is either immature because he is newly saved or is not in the Word. One needs to be in the Word so he can grow - it's just like a baby needing milk. Withhold that milk, and that baby will become malnourished. Peter exhorted the newborn babes to grow by getting into the Word. As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (1Pe 2:2)

If a believer does not get into the Word, he will be easily deceived by cult members. He will be easily deceived into believing that worldliness is OK. He will be a sucker for every wind of doctrine. He will be easily influenced by what his peers believe. His flesh will lead him rather than his spirit. Jesus knew that the flesh would starve the believer and mislead but the spirit would feed that believer into growth. It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (Joh 6:63)

When I came into this world, my parents fed me as I was not able to feed myself. Once I grew to a toddler, I learned to feed myself. But my mother still controlled what I ate so I was still pretty healthy. As an older youth and teenager, I would leave the house and eat junk food. I didn't feed myself the proper nourishment I needed and only got this proper nourishment when I went back home and sat down to a meal fixed by my Mom. When I left home for good, I was in charge of my own cooking and did not eat properly. I soon discovered that I was catching every cold that went around, flu bug, etc. Maybe there was something wise in what Mom tried to teach me! Could it be she was right? I needed proper nourishment to fight off disease and to keep my body healthy - I needed proper nourishment to give me energy to deal with the day's tasks.

Let's compare that with our spiritual nourishment. If we quench the Holy Spirit by not heeding His conviction when He tries to show us our sin, we feed our flesh. When we do not read the Word, we cannot build our faith (our strength) and we cannot grow. We saw this earlier when Peter said to desire the Word so we can grow. If we are not growing spiritually, then we are feeding our flesh more than our spirit. We are allowing worldliness into our lives more than we are allowing spiritual things into our lives. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. (Rom 8:5)

Is it your parents responsibility to feed you now that you are an adult and not living at home? Of course not! Is it your pastor's responsibility to feed you spiritual food? Watch out what you answer! If you answer yes, then you are still a babe in Christ. You are still the child mentioned in Ephesians 4:14. Shame on you if you have been saved for more than a few months and answered yes to this question. It is your responsibility to feed yourself spiritually. Yes, we get fed at church but that should not be the only time you eat! Can you imagine if you fed your body only three times a week? Your pastor can only feed you when you are at church - that's only about six hours a week. Are you starving the other 162 hours in the week?

Feed yourself, Christian! How important is the Word in our lives? Here are a few reasons:

BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. (Psa 119:9) The Word cleanses me.

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psa 119:11) The Word keeps me from sinning.

DALETH. My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word. (Psa 119:25) The Word makes me alive!

My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word. (Psa 119:28) The Word strengthens me.

VAU. Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word. (Psa 119:41) The Word shows me mercy.

So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word. (Psa 119:42) The Word enables me to have the right words to respond to accusations.

This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. (Psa 119:50) The Word comforts me.

TETH. Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word. (Psa 119:65) The Word convicts me.

Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. (Psa 119:67) The Word keeps me from going astray.

They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word. (Psa 119:74) The Word gives me hope.

Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant. (Psa 119:76) The Word comforts me.

LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. (Psa 119:89) The Word is settled - never changing.

I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. (Psa 119:101) The Word keeps me from evil.

NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psa 119:105) The Word gives me direction in a dark world.

Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. (Psa 119:133) The Word brings order to my walk.

Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. (Psa 119:140) The Word is pure.

Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word. (Psa 119:148) The Word is to be meditated on.

I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word. (Psa 119:158) The Word burdens my heart for the lost.

Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. (Psa 119:160) The Word is truth and is everlasting.

I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. (Psa 119:162) The Word is precious!

TAU. Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word. (Psa 119:169) The Word gives understanding.

Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word. (Psa 119:170) The Word delivers me.

My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness. (Psa 119:172) The Word is righteous.

Does the Christian need the Word? Your answer will define whether you are a child tossed to and fro. Which one are you?

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After sharing this study with Bro. Jerry, he added a few things which just made this study complete - here is what he shared with me.

Interesting word you pointed out. It occurs in 10 verses, 9 plus the one you mentioned in Ephesians 4:

These are referring to actual spiritual babes, not carnal believers:

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

Luke 10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

And this one is actually referring to infants or toddlers:

Matthew 21:16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise.

These are referring to before we got saved - definitely childish and not mature spiritually!

Galatians 4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

Galatians 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

This one is possibly referring to the lost being ignorant of the Word of God - or could be referring to someone who spiritually does not know any better:

Romans 2:20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.

But the rest are referring to carnal or immature believers:

1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

Hebrews 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

Based on comparing the above passages, when we are carnal, we are acting like the foolish and ignorant lost people around us!!

I thought this verse was interesting too:

1 Corinthians 14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

The first word for children is the normal word meaning that the child is not grown up yet, not fully mature (implying a Christian that hasn't developed enough yet). The second word means "to act as a babe, i.e. (figuratively) innocently." That is interesting - we are to be childlike concerning evil. BUT the last phrase, "be men", indicates that we are to be fully mature in our understanding. A little contrast - those other verses are reproving carnality and childishness as a Christian - and this verse is telling us to grow up spiritually.

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Hearers and Doers

(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. (Rom 2:13)

Oh how these two verses pricked my heart this morning. Often I say "amen" to the preaching of the Word, or blogs I've read, and posts on my favorite boards. But can I truly say that I "practice" the content of the messages that I amen-ed? Self examination must be done daily and we must ask, "Am I a doer of what was just preached or am I deceiving myelf"?

According to Romans 2:13, if we are hearers we are not justified! Praise God for Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. otherwise we would be in BIG trouble according to Romans 2:13. Praise God that because we are born again, Jesus' righteousness is all the Father sees and we are justified because of His shed blood! We are not condemned! 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. (Rom 5:16)

Are we doers of the Word? We can try to fool those who "watch" us but can we fool our own selves? More importantly, do we honestly believe we can fool God? But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (Jam 1:22) James says that we deceive our OWN selves! Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary has an excellent definition for the word deceive: "To mislead the mind; to cause to err; to cause to believe what is false, or disbelieve what is true; to impose on; to delude" We've all heard the old saying that we see life "through rose-colored glasses." This expression goes back to at least 1861. It means that one has the attitude of cheerful optimism, of seeing everything in an attractive, pleasant light. Good night! What an eye opener that was! Do we see our own selves through these same rose-colored glasses? Do we see our sin for what it really is?

The bottom line is this ... if we hear a message that points out sin in our lives and we do not heed that message, we are guilty of being a hearer of the Word only. We are misleading our minds - we actually convince our minds to believe that which is false or disbelieve that which is true! What is scarey here is that if we become hearers only, what false doctrine will we fall for? If we are hearers only, what effectiveness does our testimony have on the unsaved? Does our testimony give them vinegar rather than the water of life? When I think of what vinegar is, I shudder to think that my testimony would have this affect on others. Again, Noah Webster's definition of vinegar is: "Vegetable acid; an acid liquor obtained from wine, cider, beer or other liquors, by the second or acetous fermentation. Vinegar may differ indefinitely in the degree of its acidity. When highly concentrated, it is called radical vinegar." The soldiers tried to give Jesus vinegar as He hung on the cross and was thirsty. Matthew 27:34 says that once Jesus tasted it, he would not drink it!

Jesus provided "living water" to the thirsty soul. He did not give them vinegar. What are we producing? If we are hearers of the Word only, we will be giving the world vinegar - why would they want that? If we are doers of the Word, we are giving the world what their soul is thirsting for - living water!

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (Joh 4:10)

The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? (Joh 4:11)

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (Joh 7:38)

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Friday, July 14, 2006

Do Our Actions Say We Hate God?

And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. (Exo 3:5) Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. (Exo 3:6)

For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (Rom 14:11)

We have all heard that "actions speak louder than words" - or "actions speak volumes"! What do my actions speak about my love for the Lord? More importantly, do I hold God in a place of honor in my life above any other? What does God deserve? Why does He deserve this place of honor?

Do I truly view God as Moses viewed Him in Ex. 3:5-6? Do I stand on holy ground when I am doing my devotions? Or have I taken the worldly Christian's view of "Abba Daddy" too far? Do I give God the reverence that is due Him? Or have I "trivialized" His position in my walk and worship?

Yes, our Heavenly Father IS our Abba, Father. But do I speak to my earthly Dad with disrespect? Do I put my Dad on the same level as my friends? Of course not. My earthly father is respected and has a "higher" place than my friends. I don't speak to him in the same manner as I would my friends. The average Christian today has removed this respect and honor for God from their lives.

The phrase, Abba, Father is mentioned three times in the Word:

And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. (Mar 14:36)

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Rom 8:15)

And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. (Gal 4:6)


Whenever we want to learn what the Word has to say about a certain topic, the best Teacher is Christ Himself. Christ revered His Abba, Father to the point of praising Him (all things are possible unto thee), petitioning Him (take away this cup from me), and finally submitting to His will (nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt). Christ did not treat His prayer as though it was a talk with one of His friends. He recognized His position as being under submission but yet as a Son speaking to His Father. What a great teacher.

Why doesn't God work through men and women today as He did with our forefathers? Could it be because we have allowed the devil to dilute God's holiness and position in our lives? Do I "take off my shoes" in my heart as I enter into my prayer closet to spend time with the Lord? Do I hide my face because I am not worthy to look upon the face of God?

If not, why not? More importantly, if not - then what are my actions revealing? God is not just "one of the guys"! God is not my "buddy"! God is not "the Man upstairs"! How dare we trivialize God? How dare we put God on "our level"?

Yes, the Word does say that God is our friend. And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. (Exo 33:11a) But do you treat your friend with disrespect? Then why do you watch movies or listen to jokes that dishonor God? Do you lie to your friend? Then why do you try to weasel your way out of telling the whole truth about missing church services? Do you steal from your friend? Then why do you steal from God by withholding your tithe? Do you find every excuse under the sun to avoid being with your friend? Then why do you skip your devotions and prayer time? Do you throw your friend's letters away or leave them unopened? Then why don't you open your Bible except in church? Ouch!

What the average Christian needs today is to set aside the "charismatic's" view of God and get back to the old fashioned principles taught in the Word. If you want to be God's friend, then pattern your life after Moses - And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. (Exo 3:5) Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. (Exo 3:6)

Jesus Christ is our King of Kings! Let's treat Him like one!

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Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (Psa 23:4)

Can we truly say that God's rod and staff comfort us? The rod was used for discipline at times. I began to meditate on why God's rod would be a comfort to me. As God's child, there are many times that I must be corrected. Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. (Pro 22:15)

David is quick to add "and thy staff" immediately afterwards. The staff was used as a walking stick - this is a wonderful picture of God's direction and guidance! David did not insert this in the next sentence but placed it right along with "Thy rod"! Why? God's correction and chastisement is always followed with direction and love. For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (Psa 30:5) Can you just picture the Lord as our Shepherd using the rod to discipline us and then using His staff to guide us and direct us back on the right path?

A shepherd using his rod to chastise his sheep into staying with the herd. His staff then guides and directs the sheep in the directon the shepherd wants them to go for their protection. What a beautiful picture of Jesus, our Shepherd!

Our Father in Heaven is the ultimate Father! In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. (Isa 54:8)

Father, I welcome thy rod and thy staff in my life. Without Your correction and guidance, I would wander aimlessly. Thank You for Your everlasting kindness and mercy, my Redeemer and King!

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Is being a "good" person good enough for God?

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (Rom 3:10)

They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (Rom 3:12)

They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (Psa 14:3)

For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. (Ecc 7:20)

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (Jam 4:17)

Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. (3Jo 1:11)

So do you still think you're a "good" person? God says in the Bible that NO ONE is good. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1Jo 1:8)

So what do you do now? It's not hopeless! God knew that man could not keep the Ten Commandments on his own. Man kept failing and kept sinning. God loves His creation so much, He provided the solution. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (Joh 3:16)

Jesus Christ left Heaven to take on human form to become the perfect and sinless sacrifice which was needed to be the atonement for our sins. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (Rom 5:11) When God sees Jesus' shed blood covering our sins, all He sees is His Son's righteousness and His judgment passes over us. That is why Jesus is known as our Passover Lamb. This is why the Jews celebrate Passover. The plague of death would pass over any Jew's home whose door posts were covered with the blood of a slain spotless lamb. Therefore, our punishment for our sins and the judgment of burning in hell for all eternity was taken upon Christ as our Passover Lamb.

When we accept Him as our Saviour, His blood "covers" us and God's judgment passes over us. Oh what a beautiful picture! Oh what a wonderful Saviour we have! So what must you do? There is only one Saviour. There is only one way to Heaven. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (Joh 14:6) Not Buddah, not Allah, not Mary, NO OTHER but Jesus. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Act 4:12)

Jesus told a well-known religious leader that he must be born again. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (Joh 3:3) It's not difficult - it's very simple. When you are born of your mother, you come into this world with a desire to sin - you can't help it! Your mother did not have to teach you to do wrong - but she did have to teach you to do right. You now must admit that there is no way you can stop yourself from sinning. Punishment for even one sin is burning eternally in hell. God is holy and cannot accept any sin in heaven. Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand. (Psa 20:6)

You must be born again? HOW? By admitting that you are a sinner in need of a Saviour. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Rom 10:9) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Rom 10:10) If you believe that with all your heart and say so, you can be born again. Pray to the Father asking forgiveness for your sins. Accept Christ's sacrifice for your sin as the ONLY way to Heaven. Determine in your heart to turn away from sin from this day forth. Now that you are born again, you are a new person. Your desires will change - Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2Co 5:17)

If you don't change, something went wrong. Your prayer was not sincere - you merely tried to prevent yourself from going to hell and wanted to continue with your current life style. God says you will become a NEW CREATURE. After salvation, God gives us the ability to sin less and less.

Peter said it well in his letter of 2 Peter 1:1-4: Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: (1) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, (2) According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (3) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (4)

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Under Thy Wings

I find sweet comfort under Thy wings
No matter what difficulty or trial
As long as my eyes are focused on Thee
On the pages of my blessed King James Bible

A fountain of life for the thirsty soul
With refreshment along life's walk
Providing direction through valleys and hills
Giving warning when the enemy knocks

How I thank Thee, oh Shepherd of my soul
For protecting me from the enemy's snares
Under Thy wings I do safely abide
As I find peaceful rest in Thy care

Kate Plourde
July 13, 2006

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Encouraging Ourselves

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Cor. 2:9)

I love this verse, don't you? Many times when I need to encourage my own heart, I think of this verse. I remind myself that despite all the beauty around me, Heaven will have more. I can't even fathom this in my finite brain!

I remember when I was first saved, how I looked for the rapture to happen at any moment! I looked up so often then. I have thought about the rapture every day since my salvation, however, not with the same enthusiasm. I've allowed the cares of this world to slowly quench my enthusiasm. Forgive me, Father. So I sit here this morning, renewing my strength and renewing my enthusiasm.

1 Cor. 15:51-55, Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Titus 2:13, Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Acts 1:11, Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

So once again, I am looking up!! Our Blessed Saviour's return is imminent because the Word says so. Our Saviour's return can be at any moment so I need to be busy doing His work and leave the cares of this world in HIS care.

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