31 December 2014

Jews Returning to Israel

God promised Israel that if they rebelled, He would scatter them over the face of the earth (Deuteronomy 28:64-68, Nehemiah 1:8). This is called the Dispersion/Diaspora.

God promised Israel that at the end of this age, He would restore them to the land which He promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Ezekiel 37:21, Jeremiah 23:3)

More and more Jews are coming to Israel daily. The year 2014 shows the greatest number of Jews returning to Israel since it was reborn as a country.

Aliya up 32% over 2013 - France, Ukraine lead the pack.

29 December 2014

The Importance of Correct Bible Interpretation

There are many methods of interpretation. The bottom line is this--can and does God speak so that any normal person will understand it? With the allegorical method, for instant, you would need a fistful of doctorates to interpret. Why would God speak in a hidden understanding? Even with prophetic passages the best interpretation is to take the words in their plain, normal sense. We don't understand the meaning? So? The time will come when prophesy is being fulfilled that the people will understand. See 1 Peter 1:12.

Here is a good article on Bible Interpretation by Cooper P Abrams III--Principles of the Literal Bible Interpretation.

What Do We Practice?

Galatians 5:19-23 EMTV Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are: adultery, fornication, immorality, lewdness, (20) idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, (21) envies, murders, drinking bouts, revelries, and the like; which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness, self-control--against such things there is no law.

Though somewhat discredited now, Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book, Outliers (The Story of Success), that suggested if someone practiced 10,000 hours one would be an expert. Whether that is true or not, it is known that practice does make for better success. A physician who only does 12 surgeries a year is not going to be as successful (generally speaking) as one who does 250. The more practice, the better we can do something. Many examples could be suggested.

Now one who practices sin for many years (every human born (Romans 3:23) excepting the Lord Jesus) will be very skilled at it. Someone who lies is a liar, and practicing lying could make one famous. Same could be said for any in the about list from Galatians 5:19-23. We have all met people who had practiced immorality, hatred, selfish ambitions, murder and so on. The Bible states that the punishment for sin is death, and God will punish (Isaiah 13:11).

What would life be like if we practiced the traits found in verses 22-23 (Galatians 5:22-23)? We would be practicing God approved and society approved traits. What would the world be like if we practiced these?

This can be applied to all people but we are not good. After being born again as a real Christian, then we are given the rule, the law, to have the Fruits of the Spirit. These can distinguish true from false. No Christian is perfect in these, but these traits need to be seen and growing. This can be done by reading and study the Bible, prayer, and God's help.

26 December 2014

Right Conditions for Life

Many scientists feel that there is life outside our solar system. Sometimes only a few necessary conditions are mentioned, but according to this article from Evolution News there are two hundred (200) necessary conditions for life.

The article is "Universe, Planet, Proteins…It's Fine-Tuning All the Way Down".


Will we fail?

The Bible has a lot to say about failure and people who started well but failed. We think of Adam, King Saul, King Solomon, and Judas.

We are saved by faith. Faith is believing God. All the above stopped believing. Adam either stopped believing or didn't care when he ate the forbidden fruit. King Saul repeatedly failed God's tests as to waiting, dealing with various enemies and so on. King Solomon started strong. At first he was seen in his love for God (1 King 3:3), but at the end it was his love of women (1 Kings 11:1). Judas was an Apostle of Jesus Christ but his love for the Lord Jesus was less than his love for money.

Will we fail?

We fail God when:

  • We refuse to call to God for help. We should always seek God's wisdom first then others. Isaiah 50:2 GNB "Why did my people fail to respond when I went to them to save them? Why did they not answer when I called? Am I too weak to save them? I can dry up the sea with a command and turn rivers into a desert, so that the fish in them die for lack of water.

  • We are tested and fail to do what God wants us to do. We may be tempted to lie to save ourselves, but it is wrong. The Lord Jesus does help us in these times. Luke 22:32 GNB But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. And when you turn back to me, you must strengthen your brothers."

  • We grow weary of following God's ways as outlined in the New Testament and quit believing and acting as Christians. Hebrews 4:11 GNB Let us, then, do our best to receive that rest, so that no one of us will fail as they did because of their lack of faith.

God helps us. Consider:

  • He knows how to keep us from failing/falling. Jude 1:24-25 GNB To him who is able to keep you from falling and to bring you faultless and joyful before his glorious presence--- (25) to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, might, and authority, from all ages past, and now, and forever and ever! Amen.

  • To do more than we can ask or think. Ephesians 3:20 EMTV Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly more than all the things which we ask or think, according to the power which is working in us,

  • We can have confidence and faith in God's ability to keep us. 2 Timothy 4:18 EMTV And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!

Our prayer and hope should be as Paul's. We can have strong assurance of God's ever present help.

  • Philippians 1:20 EMTV according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I will be ashamed, but with utmost boldness, as always, now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.

  • Hebrews 13:5-6 EMTV Let your way of life be without loving money, being satisfied with what you have. For He Himself has said, "By no means shall I desert you, nor in any way shall I forsake you;" 6) so that being confident, we may say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"

25 December 2014

Post Christmas Memories

(Luke 2:11 EMTV) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Tomorrow, the 26th of December will be one day after the Christmas celebration. What are we going to think about? Our food, our family, our gifts, our bills to pay for the gifts, or God’s goodness in sending the Lord Jesus Christ?

We have willfully broken God’s laws. The punishment for this sin is eternal death. The Lord Jesus came for this very purpose—to suffer for our sins. He makes an offering to God, His Father, with His own blood, and He gives an invitation to all to believe what He has said and did. To believe is to have faith. Then we must call on His name and ask Him to forgive us.

(Luke 18:9-14 EMTV) Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised the others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men—swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I tithe on all things, as many as I acquire.' And the tax collector, standing far away, would not so much as lift his eyes towards heaven, but beat on his chest, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' I say to you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted."