Category Archives: Bible Scripture Verses
Have you marked your calendar for Ascension Day on May 9? How many of us have even heard of Ascension Day? Or perhaps just a sermon about Jesus’s ascension into heaven? It is impossible to overstate the importance of Good Friday, when Jesus died for our sins, and Easter Sunday, when he was raised from the dead — but Jesus’s earthly ministry did not stop there.
After the resurrection, Jesus taught his disciples about God’s kingdom for forty days (Acts 1:3) and then he was “taken up” to heaven (Acts 1:2, 11). The cross and empty tomb are at the very heart of the gospel message proclaimed by Jesus’s followers throughout history (see 1 Corinthians 15:1–4). However, for many evangelical Christia…
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Israel’s Rise: Dream Realized, or Prophecy Fulfilled?
Almost precisely a year ago, Egypt announced that it would cut the amount of natural gas it would sell to Israel.
And little more than a week ago, production began at the Tamar offshore natural gas field. And just two days ago, a German newspaper reported that the estimated capacity of the Tamar field has been raised, by a full trillion cubic feet.
Natural gas fields, of course, do not develop overnight; the process takes literally millions of years. Is it not interesting, then, that these fields (Tamar and another, Leviathan), having lain hidden beneath Israel’s territorial waters through 2,000 years of occupation by Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Turks, and Englishmen, were to be discovered by and exploited only after the Jews’ return, and precisely at the moment Israel needed them?
I am not a religious man. But I am not a great believer in coincidence, either. Which got me thinking of the Torah — specifically, Genesis, chapter 12, verses 1 and 2:
Now the LORD said unto Abram: “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto the land that I will show thee.
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing.
So God says that He will make of the Jews a great nation. But He doesn’t say when.
Could the time be now?
The major obstacle to the “two-state solution” which so enthralls Western liberals is not land, but the Arabs’ refusal to recognize the Jewish People as a people and Israel as the state of the Jewish People. But another obstacle, less remarked upon, is Israelis’ growing realization that the conventional wisdom — that a greater Palestinian Arab birthrate would eventually cause Arabs to outnumber the Jewish population between the Mediterranean and the Jordan — is wrong. And as the fear of a Palestinian demographic landslide vanishes, the motivation for Israel to accept a Palestinian state vanishes with it.
In fact, most of the Arab states and Iran are experiencing a drastic decline in their national birth rates at the same time as the Jewish population continues to benefit not from a decline, but from a 17-year “robust surge” in her birth rate — one which shows no signs of slowing. How dramatic is Israel’s rise?
Read it all at American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/04/israels_rise_dream_realized_or_prophecy_fulfilled.html
An Honest Response: “I love Jesus but hate Religion”
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians”
“I’m a Christ-follower, but I oppose organized religion.”
“I’m spiritual. I think Jesus was a great teacher, but the church needs to change.”
There are almost endless variants of this core message.. “I like Jesus. I hate Religion.”
The problem is that people who make this statement don’t really believe either point. It’s a logical slight of hand, but one in which the illusionists only fool themselves.
Let me explain.
“I love Jesus”….
Slight of hand #1: You switched “Jesuses” on us.
To say that you love Jesus means that you have to understand who Jesus actually claimed to be, His teachings, and His stated purpose.
Jesus claimed to be God. Not a teacher, not a prophet, not a good moral example. GOD. The actual creator of the universe. You can’t run around claiming to be God and then just be seen as a “good teacher” or “moral example”. If Jesus isn’t who He said He was, He was at best a charlatan, and at worst a psychopath.
Jesus also made incredibly unique truth claims which were patently offensive (and blasphemous) in the first century, and remain patently offensive (and “intolerant”) in today’s post-modern culture. Jesus said that He was God incarnate, the very creator of the universe entering into creation for a single purpose: To provide the exclusive way by which men could escape the just punishment for their sin and receive eternal life. The flip side of this truth claim is that anyone who did not believe this would be condemned.
One God. One name, alone, by which man may be saved.
Those are the truth claims of Jesus. To say that you love, respect, or follow Jesus while denying his claims of both deity and exclusivity is to love, respect, or follow a different Jesus. In short, “coexist Jesus” doesn’t exist. He’s a creation of your imagination.
You’ve swapped out the real Jesus with one of your own making. THAT is the Jesus you like.
“I’m Spiritual”, “I hate religion”
Slight of hand #2: You swapped religions on us.
The problem is that this generic “spiritualism” is a subjective, personalized experience. Jesus didn’t come for that reason, He didn’t minister that way, and He didn’t establish His work on earth in this manner.
Jesus spoke, performed miracles, and made his truth claims publicly and objectively. He established the meeting together of His followers for teaching, edification, and public proclamation. To meet together publicly and jointly confess our faith in a publicly, objectively crucified savior guards against creating and worshipping our “own personal Jesus.”
By holding to the objective, public statements of Jesus’ earthly ministry, by publicly receiving the objective elements of the Lord’s Supper, and by publicly and objectively being washed in baptism, we ultimately worship the historic, public, objective Jesus rather than a private, subjective “Jesus” of our own creation.
What this leads to, without fail, is not only replacing the real Jesus with one of your own creation, but replacing the public, objective gospel of Jesus ministry with your own, alternative gospel.
Let’s work through that.
So, you dig Jesus. You think he had some great messages about loving the underdog, the poor, the disenfranchised. You think he was a great moral teacher. But the whole “God” thing? The whole “only way” thing? Not so much. So what are you left with? “Love your neighbor as yourself.” So you replace Jesus stated purpose of coming to save people who do not, who cannot, love their neighbor as themselves with the very thing He said is impossible. Huh?
In closing, here’s the rub. Jesus taught and the church confesses that we have ALL failed and fallen short of this call to Love God with all our hearts and Love our neighbor as ourselves. Therefore, we believe and confess that it is only by grace through faith in Christ that we are forgiven. That’s the christian faith. That’s the christian “church”, that’s our “religion”.
This “spiritualism”? Your “own path”? You’ve simply replaced the religion of Jesus with one of your own making. And it ends up where ALL non-Christian religions end up; A religion of works and law rather than Jesus religion, a religion of grace.
So to be blunt, to be offensive, to be “intolerant”.. You either love the biblical Jesus and his biblical religion, or you love the Jesus and religion you’ve replaced them with. To balk at either Jesus or His religion is to engage in a slight of hand. The problem here is that you aren’t fooling anyone but yourself.
byJohn Piper|April 11, 2013
One moving testimony to me as I ended my ministry at Bethlehem on March 31 was that of a young woman who has battled cancer. She thanked God for my cancer. She had listened to the messages leading up to my surgery in February 2006. They were life for her.
God knows what pastors must endure to be useful to their people. It is sobering to read in 2 Corinthians 1:6, “If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation.” That is one reason the ministry is as hard as it is. We are afflicted so that in our afflictions our people will be saved.
Charles Spurgeon suffered repeatedly from depression. But he had an unwavering belief in the sovereignty of God in all his afflictions. This was his…
Poll: Americans Love the Bible But Don’t Read It Much
(RNS) — More than half of Americans think the Bible has too little influence on a culture they see in moral decline, yet only one in five Americans read the Bible on a regular basis, according to a new survey.
More than three-quarters of Americans (77 percent) think the nation’s morality is headed downhill, according to a new survey from American Bible Society.
The survey showed the Bible is still firmly rooted in American soil: 88 percent of respondents said they own a Bible, 80 percent think the Bible is sacred, 61 percent wish they read the Bible more, and the average household has 4.4 Bibles.
If the Bible is so commonplace in America, wouldn’t its moral teachings counteract the downward trend? Almost a third of respondents said moral decline was a result of people not reading the Bible, while 29 percent cited the “negative influence of America” and one in four cited corporate corruption.
Doug Birdsall, president of American Bible Society, said he sees a reason for why the Bible isn’t connecting with people.
“I see the problem as analogous to obesity in America. We have an awful lot of people who realize they’re overweight, but they don’t follow a diet,” Birdsall said. “People realize the Bible has values that would help us in our spiritual health, but they just don’t read it.”
If they do read it, the majority (57 percent) only read their Bibles four times a year or less. Only 26 percent of Americans said they read their Bible on a regular basis (four or more times a week).
The Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, said the Bible can come across as intimidating to the uninitiated. “There’s a tendency to think that if you read the Bible, you have to read it from start to finish. But when people do read the Bible, they don’t know where to begin,” Martin said.
Younger people also seem to be moving away from the Bible. A majority (57 percent) of those ages 18-28 read their Bibles less than three times a year, if at all.
The Barna Group conducted “The State of the Bible 2013″ study for American Bible Society, using 1,005 telephone interviews and 1,078 online surveys with a margin of error for the combined data of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
By Os Hillman
“No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save” (Psalm 33:16-17).
The Bible tells us not to put our confidence in things the world considers to be our protection, defense, or strength. However, the man or woman who does not perform well on the job is left behind in today’s competitive world. Not only is this typical of the world at large, but even many Christians promote the importance of identifying our strengths and encourage us to move in them to accomplish God’s will. Yet, throughout the Bible, we are discouraged from depending upon our own strengths. Instead, we are urged to rely totally upon the Lord.
God wants us to depend upon Him, and He demonstrates this throughout Scripture. For example, in Judges 7, God wouldn’t let Gideon fight against another army until he reduced his own from 22,000 soldiers to a mere 300, so that Gideon could not boast about his army’s strength. In Joshua 6, God told Joshua to walk around Jericho seven times and blow trumpets instead of relying upon his mighty army to overpower his enemy. In 2 Samuel 24, God judged David when he counted his troops to determine the size of his army’s strength, apparently because David took the census out of pride or overconfidence in the strength of his army.
On the other hand, Jesus instructed the disciples in due diligence through the parable of the builder, who is cautioned to consider the cost before beginning to build. “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish’” (Luke 14:28-30).
Today, bring every project and endeavor before the Lord as you ask for His power and grace to accomplish it using both your natural gifts and the Spirit of God working together.
Contact Os Hillman at www.marketplaceleaders.org.
Found at Mad Medic: http://maddmedic.wordpress.com/
byJonathan Parnell|April 8, 2013
The Gospels tell us what happened to Jesus when he entered Jerusalem. It is the testimony of history’s most important event and we can hold it in our hands. It is the testimony of four God-inspired authors whose words we’ve read and celebrated this spring. And then there’s the Book of Psalms.
Like the Gospels, the Psalms give us a fascinating picture of the Savior. Psalm 22 especially stands out. Jesus quotes Psalm 22:1 on the cross and the whole narrative of his crucifixion draws imagery from “the afflicted one” found there. Not only is he forsaken (Psalm 22:1), he is also scorned and mocked by onlookers (Psalm 22:6–7), he thirsts (Psalm 22:15), he is surrounded by ruthless Gentiles (Psalm…
Read the rest here: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/living-in-the-valley-for-now
byR W Glenn|April 6, 2013
The New Testament is full of commands for us to obey. Full of them. The Sermon on the Mount is no exception. Something like sixty-six commands sound from Jesus’s mouth as he calls us as his people to live a life in step with the gospel.
The Beatitudes, Jesus’s introduction to the Sermon on the Mount, are a different story. There you’ll not find a single imperative. Not one.
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
- Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive m…
byJon Bloom|April 5, 2013
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)
Jesus has called you to run a race. It’s a faith race. It’s long-distance and multi-terrain.
And you’ve been trying to run but you’re wondering why it’s so hard. Why do you get winded so quickly? Why are others running at a faster pace? What’s wrong?
Could it be that you’re not taking this race seriously enough? You can tell by how much extra weight you’re trying to run with.
An endurance race is hard enough when you’re running light. But it’s far harder, and often impossible,…
Read the article at : http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/lay-aside-every-weight
Homosexuality: A Biblical Overview
On such a controversial and emotional issue, we need to know whose word we are going to trust. We can find scholars who support any of the variety of positions which are advocated on the subject. It is not my intention to treat fully the multitude of interpretive comments which deal with the biblical texts on the subject. My goal is simply to review what the Bible says about homosexuality, as clearly, succinctly, and practically as possible.
Read the entire article here: http://www.religiontoday.com/columnists/denison-forum/homosexuality-a-biblical-overview.html
About the Author:
Jim Denison, Ph.D., is a subject matter expert on cultural and contemporary issues. He founded the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, a nonsectarian “think tank” designed to engage contemporary issues with biblical truth in 2009 and is the author of seven books, including Radical Islam: What You Need to Know. For more information on the Denison Forum, visit www.denisonforum.org. To connect with Dr. Denison in social media, visit www.twitter.com/jimdenison or www.facebook.com/denisonforum.
“Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” (John 20:25)
The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is the most important event of human history. If it didn’t happen, the most influential world religion is a sham. If it did happen, “all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
The resurrection is a fantastic claim. Jesus’ own disciples didn’t believe it at first. And Thomas struggled more than anyone with his skeptic side. And in his experience1 in particular there is hope for all of us stumbling doubters. Jesus knows how and when to reach us.
Jesus’s death had been difficult and confusin…
Read the rest at: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/do-not-disbelieve-but-believe
In running the race of life we are to look to the exaltation of Jesus at the end of his race. But Hebrews 12:2 tells us to look not only to his exaltation, but to his motivation.
Jesus was carried in the agonies of the last lap of his race by the hope of joy. “For the joy that was set before him [he] endured the cross, despising the shame” (verse 2). Jesus kept his eyes on the same place we should — his own future exaltation at the Father’s right hand, with the completion of our salvation crowning his head. This was his joy.
There were mammoth obstacles in Jesus’s way. Two are mentioned. The cross and the shame. The cross, no doubt, stands for all the pain and abandonment and spiritual dar…
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1–2)
Hebrews 12:1–2 tells us to “run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Part of our motivation is that “we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.” These are the runners from chapter 11 who finished the race of life before us. They have come around to line the way and cheer us on bec…
Found at Mad Medic: http://maddmedic.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/risen.jpg
English Standard Version (ESV)
For God So Loved the World
16 “For God so loved the world,[a] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
New Living Translation (NLT)
Jesus’ Trial before Pilate
23 Then the entire council took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor. 2 They began to state their case: “This man has been leading our people astray by telling them not to pay their taxes to the Roman government and by claiming he is the Messiah, a king.”
3 So Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus replied, “You have said it.”
4 Pilate turned to the leading priests and to the crowd and said, “I find nothing wrong with this man!”
5 Then they became insistent. “But he is causing riots by his teaching wherever he goes—all over Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem!”
6 “Oh, is he a Galilean?” Pilate asked. 7 When they said that he was, Pilate sent him to Herod Antipas, because Galilee was under Herod’s jurisdiction, and Herod happened to be in Jerusalem at the time.
8 Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus, because he had heard about him and had been hoping for a long time to see him perform a miracle. 9 He asked Jesus question after question, but Jesus refused to answer.10 Meanwhile, the leading priests and the teachers of religious law stood there shouting their accusations. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers began mocking and ridiculing Jesus. Finally, they put a royal robe on him and sent him back to Pilate. 12 (Herod and Pilate, who had been enemies before, became friends that day.)
13 Then Pilate called together the leading priests and other religious leaders, along with the people, 14 and he announced his verdict. “You brought this man to me, accusing him of leading a revolt. I have examined him thoroughly on this point in your presence and find him innocent. 15 Herod came to the same conclusion and sent him back to us. Nothing this man has done calls for the death penalty. 16 So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”[a]
18 Then a mighty roar rose from the crowd, and with one voice they shouted, “Kill him, and release Barabbas to us!”19 (Barabbas was in prison for taking part in an insurrection in Jerusalem against the government, and for murder.)20 Pilate argued with them, because he wanted to release Jesus. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
22 For the third time he demanded, “Why? What crime has he committed? I have found no reason to sentence him to death. So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”
23 But the mob shouted louder and louder, demanding that Jesus be crucified, and their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate sentenced Jesus to die as they demanded. 25 As they had requested, he released Barabbas, the man in prison for insurrection and murder. But he turned Jesus over to them to do as they wished.
26 As they led Jesus away, a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene,[b] happened to be coming in from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large crowd trailed behind, including many grief-stricken women. 28 But Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the days are coming when they will say, ‘Fortunate indeed are the women who are childless, the wombs that have not borne a child and the breasts that have never nursed.’ 30 People will beg the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and plead with the hills, ‘Bury us.’[c] 31 For if these things are done when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?[d]”
32 Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. 33 When they came to a place called The Skull,[e]they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left.
35 The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. 37 They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”
39 One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”
40 But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? 41 We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
43 And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
The Death of Jesus
44 By this time it was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 45 The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. 46 Then Jesus shouted,“Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!”[h] And with those words he breathed his last.
47 When the Roman officer[i] overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshiped God and said, “Surely this man was innocent.[j]” 48 And when all the crowd that came to see the crucifixion saw what had happened, they went home in deep sorrow.[k] 49 But Jesus’ friends, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance watching.
Via Email RHM
Something to think about..
END TIME SIGNS
1. False Bible teachers would be money hungry. They would be smooth talkers, have many followers, and slur the Christian faith (2 Peter 2:1-3) See some at: Fakemessiah.com
2. Homosexuality would be increasingly evident at the end of the age (2 Timothy 3:3)
3. Earthquakes would be in diverse places (Matthew 24:7)
4. Stress would be part of living (2 Timothy 3:1)
5. Many wars would erupt (Matthew 24:6)
6. People would forsake the Ten Commandments as a moral code, committing adultery, stealing, lying, and killing (Matthew 24:12)
7. There would be a cold religious system, in denying God’s power (2 Timothy 3:5)
8. Men would substitute fantasy in place of Christian truth (2 Timothy 4:4). This is so evident at Christmas when the birth of the Savior is lost behind the myth of Santa Claus.
9. Deadly diseases would be prevalent (Matthew 24:7). The worldwide increase in AIDS deaths is almost inestimable. Over 160,000 Americans die of cancer each year.
10. The fact that God once flooded the earth (the Noahic flood) would be denied (2 Peter 3:5-6). There is a mass of fossil evidence to prove this fact, yet it is flatly ignored by the scientific world because of its uncanny implication.
11. The institution of marriage would be forsaken by many (1 Timothy 4:3)
12. There would be an increase in famines (Matthew 24:7)
13. Increase in vegetarianism would increase (1 Timothy 4:3-4)
14. There would be a cry for peace (1 Thessalonians 5:3)
15. The possession of Jerusalem would be at the center of international turmoil(Zechariah 12:3)
16. Knowledge would increase (Daniel 12:4)
17. There would be hypocrites within the Church (Matthew 13:25-30)
18. There would be an increase of religious cults/false teachers (Matthew 24:11 & 24)
19. The future would seem fearful to many (Luke 21:26)
20. Humanity would become materialistic (2 Timothy 3:4)
21. There would be many involved in travel (Daniel 12:4)
22. The Christian Gospel would be preached as a warning to all nations (Matthew 24:14)
23. Jesus said Christians would be hated ”for His name’s sake” (Matthew 24:9)
24: And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26).
25: Youth would become rebellious. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy (2 Timothy 3:2)
26: Men would mock the warning signs of the end of the age saying, “for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2 Peter 3:4). The Bible even reveals their motivation, they love lust (verse 3). They fail to understand that a day to the Lord is as a thousand years to us. God is not subject to the time that He created. He can flick through time as we flick through the pages of a history book. The reason He seems to be silent, is because He is patiently waiting, not willing that any perish, but that all come to repentance.
From Mad Medic: http://maddmedic.wordpress.com/
From the Book: PROVOCATIONS
By: Soren Kierkegaard
Whatsoever a person chooses, when he does not choose God
he has missed the either/or, or rather he is in perdition with his
either/or. So then: either God/…What does this either/or signify?
What does God demand by this either/or? He demands
obedience, unconditional obedience. If you are not obedient in
everything unconditionally, without qualification, you don’t
love him, and if you don’t love him – then you hate him. If you
are not obedient in everything unconditionally, then you are
not bound to him, and if you are not bound to him then you
If you can become absolutely obedient, then when you pray,
“Lead us not into temptation” there will be no ambiguity in
you, you will be undivided and single before God. And there is
one thing that all Satan’s cunning and all the snares of temptation
cannot take by surprise – an undivided will. What Satan
spies with keenness of sight as his prey, what all temptation
aims at certain of its prey, is the ambiguous. When unclarity resides,
there is temptation, and there it proves only too easily the
stronger. Wherever there is ambiguity, wherever there is wavering,
there is disobedience down at the bottom.
Where there is no ambiguity, Satan and temptation are powerless.
But with the merest glimpse of wavering, Satan is strong
and temptation is enticing, and keen-sighted is the evil one
whose trap is called temptation and whose prey is called the
human soul. Of course, it is not really from Satan that temptation
comes, but ambiguity cannot hide itself from him. If he
discovers it, temptation is always at hand. But the person who
surrenders absolutely to God, with no reservations, is absolutely
safe. From this safe hiding-place he can see the devil, but
the devil cannot see him. And if with absolute obedience he remains
in his hiding-place, then he is “delivered from the evil
Taken from Provocations: http://www.naturalthinker.net/trl/texts/Kierkegaard,Soren/Provocations.pdf
“All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. ‘Isn’t this Joseph’s son?’ they asked” (Luke 4:22).
Jesus was more qualified to be a carpenter than the Son of God in the view of religious leaders and the common people of his day. He was also becoming known as a rabbi who thought and did things “outside the box.” He was an unusual mixture of the earthly common man who did daily work just like his other villagers in Nazareth. So, when the public ministry side of his life began to surface, the first observations were, “Isn’t this Joseph, the carpenter’s son?”
This is not unlike what happens when God calls you or I into a more public ministry. “Isn’t that John, the CPA, or Bill the restaurant manager, or Susie the bank executive?” The first question among our critics is “Where did John, Bill, or Susie get religion?”
The religious spirit in the workplace reveals itself in many ways. The religious spirit can best be defined as an agent of Satan assigned to prevent change and maintain the status quo by using religious devices. The religious spirit seeks to distort a genuine move of God through deception, control and manipulation. It was the primary force against Jesus designed to intimidate and turn His relationship with God into a set of rules and regulations. Satan does not want Jesus in the workplace because that is where the authority lies to change a workplace, city or nation. God desires you to bring His presence with you into the workplace every day. Do not let the enemy of your soul shame you into alienating your faith from your work.
Today, ask Jesus to go into the workplace with you. The two of you just might be the team to bring someone out of slavery and bondage.
Found at Mad Medic: http://maddmedic.wordpress.com/
Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. For with whatever judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you. (Matthew 7:1-2)
The first portion of these verses is one of those passages of Scripture that we must be careful not to strain beyond its proper meaning. It is frequently abused and misapplied by the enemies of true religion. It is possible to press the words of the Bible so far that they yield not medicine, but poison.
Our Lord does not mean that it is wrong, under any circumstances, to pass an unfavorable judgment on the conduct and opinions of others. We should have decided opinions. We are to “prove all things.” We are to “try the spirits.” Nor does He mean that it is wrong to reprove the sins and faults of others unless we are perfect and faultless ourselves. Such an interpretation would contradict other parts of Scripture. It would make it impossible to condemn error and false doctrine. It would bar anyone from attempting the office of a minister or a judge.
What our Lord means to condemn is a censorious and fault-finding spirit: a readiness to blame others for trifling offenses or matters of indifference – a habit of passing rash and hasty judgments – a disposition to magnify the errors and infirmities of our neighbors and make the worst of them. This is what our Lord forbids. It was common among the Pharisees. It has always been common from their day down to the present time. We must all watch against it. We should “believe all things” and “hope all things” about others and be very slow to find fault. This is Christian charity (1 Corinthians 13:7).
Adapted from The Gospel of Matthew by J.C. Ryle (Chapter 7).
Found at Mad Medic: http://maddmedic.wordpress.com/
New Living Translation (NLT)
16 We can make our own plans,
but the Lord gives the right answer.
2 People may be pure in their own eyes,
but the Lord examines their motives.
3 Commit your actions to the Lord,
and your plans will succeed.
4 The Lord has made everything for his own purposes,
even the wicked for a day of disaster.
5 The Lord detests the proud;
they will surely be punished.
6 Unfailing love and faithfulness make atonement for sin.
By fearing the Lord, people avoid evil.
7 When people’s lives please the Lord,
even their enemies are at peace with them.
8 Better to have little, with godliness,
than to be rich and dishonest.
9 We can make our plans,
but the Lord determines our steps.
10 The king speaks with divine wisdom;
he must never judge unfairly.
11 The Lord demands accurate scales and balances;
he sets the standards for fairness.
12 A king detests wrongdoing,
for his rule is built on justice.
13 The king is pleased with words from righteous lips;
he loves those who speak honestly.
14 The anger of the king is a deadly threat;
the wise will try to appease it.
15 When the king smiles, there is life;
his favor refreshes like a spring rain.
16 How much better to get wisdom than gold,
and good judgment than silver!
17 The path of the virtuous leads away from evil;
whoever follows that path is safe.
18 Pride goes before destruction,
and haughtiness before a fall.
19 Better to live humbly with the poor
than to share plunder with the proud.
20 Those who listen to instruction will prosper;
those who trust the Lord will be joyful.
21 The wise are known for their understanding,
and pleasant words are persuasive.
22 Discretion is a life-giving fountain to those who possess it,
but discipline is wasted on fools.
23 From a wise mind comes wise speech;
the words of the wise are persuasive.
24 Kind words are like honey—
sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
25 There is a path before each person that seems right,
but it ends in death.
26 It is good for workers to have an appetite;
an empty stomach drives them on.
27 Scoundrels create trouble;
their words are a destructive blaze.
28 A troublemaker plants seeds of strife;
gossip separates the best of friends.
29 Violent people mislead their companions,
leading them down a harmful path.
30 With narrowed eyes, people plot evil;
with a smirk, they plan their mischief.
31 Gray hair is a crown of glory;
it is gained by living a godly life.
32 Better to be patient than powerful;
better to have self-control than to conquer a city.
33 We may throw the dice,[a]
but the Lord determines how they fall.