One of King David’s songs to God that has been handed down to us in our Bibles is Psalm 139. Eugene Peterson has paraphrased some of it this way, “God, I’m an open book to You; even from a distance, You know what I’m thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of Your sight. You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and You’re there, then up ahead and You’re there, too— Your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful— I can’t take it all in!”
David had difficulty finding words that were sufficient to express his amazement that God cared so much about him. Later, in the same song, David wrote about God forming him in his mother’s womb. Not only did God know him intimately, but God supervised all aspects of his development before birth. Continue reading
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We are granted in the Declaration of Independence the rights to LIFE, liberty and pursuit of happiness, we hope you join us to help these innocent babies, and grant them their one chance at life.
GOD BLESS US EVERYONE!
With coronavirus shutting government schools, millions of parents have a historic opportunity to try homeschooling and non-government alternatives, declared leaders with the new movement “Public School Exit.”
According to the non-profit, founded in 2019 by Christian leaders passionate about K-12 education, government schools are seriously harming children through sexualization, indoctrination, and dumbing down.
But with schools closed across America due to COVID19, interest in home education and online options are surging.
PSE co-founder Dran Reese, president of The Salt & Light Council, called on ministry leaders to be involved. “Pastors and church leaders have a huge role to play in equipping congregations with a biblical understanding of citizenship, and that includes education of children,” she said. “This pandemic is a perfect time for pastors on the sidelines to get involved.” Continue reading
This is the first in a series tracing the word “faith” in the book of Romans. (Faith is translated from the Greek word pistis, [G4002], which usually, but not always, is translated “faith” in the New Testament [NT].) Pistis occurs 40 times in the epistle to Romans, the most frequent in any NT book. Today, we’ll compare the first and last occurrences of the word faith in Romans and then highlight the 2nd through the 6th occasions of it in the first chapter:
- First occurrence; “By whom (referring to the Lord Jesus Christ) we (referring to Paul and his fellow apostles) have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:” Romans 1:5.
- Fortieth and last occurrence; “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my (Paul’s) gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:” Romans 16:25 – 26.
We’ll focus on the significant phrases “for obedience to the faith among all nations,” Romans 1:5 and “made known to all nations for the obedience of faith,” Romans 16:26 but first we note that Paul begins Romans by branding himself a slave of Jesus Christ Who divinely selected/appointed him an apostle (a messenger sent forth with Continue reading
As an introvert and homeschooling mom, I have an extraordinarily high threshold for isolation. I’ve been known to say my dream vacation is actually staying home for a week while my husband and children escape to some exotic locale, though if I’m completely honest I could probably go longer than seven days without them.
Or so I thought.
This world-wide pandemic and accompanying quarantine has me a little twitchy today, and I’m still surrounded by family. I’ve been on social media more than usual, avoiding the news while simultaneously seeking updates concerning the welfare of friends and family.
These are strange times, unlike anything most of us have ever seen, and many are suffering despite their lack of symptoms, because God created us for community.
Luckily most of us still have it in digital form, the hope and positivity radiating from our devices is encouraging. Those of us with faith know God brings great blessing out of turbulent times, and this situation is no different. He is bigger, stronger, and remains in control.
The lessons we carry down the road with us from living in this present moment are sure to be spectacular, many of us are already learning things about ourselves and about this world that we never knew. Continue reading
Have you ever been upset with yourself for giving into temptation … again? Have you ever assumed that if you were just more disciplined, you could be victorious? Feel you need to try harder or be more regimented to keep your routines? How many times have you heard it said that if you want to be more spiritual, just read your Bible and pray more, as though that was the solution for everything?
Now, discipline is valued in the Bible. Routines and to-do lists can be helpful. Reading your Bible and praying are definitely good. But NONE of these four, in themselves, is the key to growing in your love-relationship with God. The New Testament book of Galatians was written to clarify this.
Some people like to live by rules and lists. They do better when they can check off items they have accomplished. I’m not saying this is bad. It’s just not the way to live the Christian life. On the other hand, some people just “wing it.” They are undisciplined and could use a few more lists of things to guide their life. Whether you like lists and routines or not is not the issue. Continue reading
Some wag once changed the opening line of Rudyard Kipling’s classic poem, “If,” this way: “If you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you…you haven’t understood the gravity of the situation.”
And so it seems to be with the coronavirus crisis.
I can’t remember the last time church was canceled. (I think it was during one of the hurricanes we frequently experience in Florida.) We as a family ended up having a mini-service in our own home.
On the other hand, one can’t help but feel that fears surrounding the virus are being exaggerated. We are taking all due precautions because of the coronavirus.
Every morning when I arise, coronavirus or not, I try and repeat a number of Scriptural truths to put me in the right frame of mind. It keeps me positive and focused. I go through them in the night as well.
I recommend this practice because this is such a negative world. I cannot imagine what life would be like if all we did was watch cable news. To watch that news all the time, we could easily lose perspective on life. Continue reading
When I was in high school (a long time ago), our sports rival was a town twenty miles to the north, just over the border between California and Oregon. The Bible also speaks of rivals, but not of towns and sports teams. These two rivals are each vying for your heart, kind of like politicians campaigning for your vote. Some politicians are honest, while others tell you one thing and do the opposite once they’re elected.
The Apostle Paul identified these two rival kingdoms in Colossians 1:12-14. Christians are to “give thanks to the Father, who has qualified you [Christ-follower] to share in the inheritance of the saints in the KINGDOM OF LIGHT. He [God] has rescued us from the DOMINION OF DARKNESS and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Let’s look at four major differences between these kingdoms.
- Jesus is the Ruler of the kingdom of light.
2. Satan is the monarch of the dominion of darkness.
- Jesus speaks truth and He treats people with mercy, grace, love, forgiveness, respect, and patience. In the second half of the above verse, Jesus contrasts Himself to the devil. He finished the statement, “But I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
- Satan’s ways are witnessed on nightly news. He encourages lies, hate, vandalism, death, hypocrisy, and theft. His way of motivating people is through lust, guilt, shame, intimidation, pride, and fear. Referring to Satan, Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” (John 10:10)
“And he…showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel…. Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb…. The city is laid out as a square…. The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones…. The twelve gates were twelve pearls…. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass” (Revelation 21:10-21).
This powerful video, entitled ‘New Jerusalem,’ focuses on the end of Jesus’ millennial reign, when He returns and cast the Anti-Christ, the False Prophet, and Satan into the Lake of Fire. We then see the Great White Throne Judgment, where anyone not found in the Book of Life also is cast into the Lake of Fire. This eight-minute film does not disappoint, in terms of Scriptural accuracy, including the layout of the New Jerusalem–which we know to be approximately 1,500 miles cubed (about the size of the moon)–and all of Bible prophecy on these events. Continue reading
Ever felt like you’ve sinned too much? Feel too ashamed to face God again and confess the same sin one more time? Think He’s tired of hearing you, rolling His eyes and doubting that you really mean it since you keep repeating the same sin? Feel like giving up? Let me share three verses and thoughts that have helped me with this issue.
1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and JUST and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
- I capitalized the word “just” because when we confess our sins to God, He is not only faithful, but He is JUST to forgive us. It’s proper, above-board, for Him to forgive us. You can find no fault with God for doing so. We don’t have to convince Him to do something He is hesitant to do. We don’t have to plead with Him to forgive us. Because of our faith in Christ, God has already JUSTified us, declaring us free from any future judgment for our sin. Jesus took the brunt of God’s judgment against sin when He died on the cross. Therefore, God the Father is justified and willing to forgive all who come to Him and admit their sin.
- The word “confess” doesn’t mean to cry or promise that we’ll never commit the sin again. It means “to say the same thing.” God is looking for us to agree with Him that what we did was wrong in His sight. He just wants us to admit we were wrong.