Showing posts with label Christian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian. Show all posts

16 June 2019

A Few Thoughts About Preaching

2 Timothy 3:16-17 CSB All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

All preaching is to be based solidly on the Bible.

To teach
B1 To know what we believe
C1 Gospel
C2 Doctrine
B2 To know why we believe what we do
C1 Apologetics (we have a reasonable faith)
C2 How Christianity answers the big questions of life
B3 To know what a Christian worldview and lifestyle is
To convict
B1 Of sin
B2 Of truth
To expose sin leading to repentance
B1 The purpose of exposure is to lead to repentance and be converted (from their sin whether Christian or non-Christian).
B2 It is not unloving to preach about sins listed in the Bible
B3 We do NOT have to mention names or situations, unless it is abuse or other crime that we have to warn others of
B4 It protects the church, so we will be more pleasing to our Father
B5 To explain heresies
To encourage
B1 In words
B2 In deeds
B3 In help
B4 In fellowship
B5 In emotions
B6 In faith
B7 In families
B8 In persecution
To strengthen
B1 Faith
B2 Belief
B3 Trust
B4 Bible study
B5 Prayer
B6 Fellowship
B7 Serving
B8 Evangelism

Some things to not preach
B1 People are naturally good
B2 A pep talk
B3 A little tidbit to entertain
B4 A cute story to amuse
B5 A little story
B6 Politics
B7 Only current events
B8 Only social issues
B9 And many other similar things that can be discussed elsewhere other than church

13 June 2019

A Few Thoughts About Teaching the Christian Life

Philippians 4:9 WEL Those things, which you have learned, received, heard, and seen in me, do, and the God of peace will be with you.

We must have these traits already.

  • Purpose: Proverbs 1:1-7 NLT These are the proverbs of Solomon, David's son, king of Israel. Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair. These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young. Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles. Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
  • Correction: Proverbs 12:1 NLT To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.
  • God teaches us, too: Matthew 16:17 NLT Jesus replied, "You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.
  • From illustrations: Matthew 24:32 NLT "Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near.
  • From godly mentors: Philippians 3:17 NLT Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.
  • Know the source of all wisdom and knowledge: Colossians 1:9-10 NLT So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
  • Learning from chastisement: 1 Timothy 1:20 NLT Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples. I threw them out and handed them over to Satan so they might learn not to blaspheme God.
  • Learning to live Godly lives (from New Testament instructions: 1 Timothy 4:8, 11 NLT "Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come." ... Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them.
  • Learned from gentle instruction before we were believers: 2 Timothy 2:25 NLT Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people's hearts, and they will learn the truth.

  • Acknowledge the source: John 3:27 NLT John replied, "No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven.
  • By reading and studying the Scriptures: 2 Timothy 3:15 NLT You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.
  • From others living a Christian lifestyle: 2 Timothy 3:10 NLT But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance.
  • From our brothers and sisters: Colossians 3:16 NLT Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

  • From hearing the Scriptures read: 1 Timothy 4:13 NLT Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.
  • We need someone to tell us: Romans 10:14 NLT But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?
  • Hearing encouraging words: Ephesians 4:29 NLT Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

  • Seeing the damage of bad examples: 2 Kings 13:6 NLT But they continued to sin, following the evil example of Jeroboam. They also allowed the Asherah pole in Samaria to remain standing.
  • Follow Jesus’s good example: John 13:15 NLT I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.
  • By working diligently to supply for ourselves and a little more to help others: Acts 20:35 NLT And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
  • Live a life of love. This does include telling hard to hear truths: Ephesians 5:2 NLT Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
  • Live what you teach both in private and pubic: Titus 2:7 NLT And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.

  • Confessing and forsaking sins: Proverbs 28:13 NLT People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.
  • Apply what we read and are taught (in truth): Proverbs 22:17 NLT Listen to the words of the wise; apply your heart to my instruction.

  • How to live: Psalm 119:7 NLT As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should!
  • How to know God’s ways: Romans 12:2 NLT Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
  • By learning and apply it, we receive: Proverbs 14:14 NLT Backsliders get what they deserve; good people receive their reward.
  • We learn and apply it: Proverbs 14:22 NKJV Do they not go astray who devise evil? But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good.

  • The Lord Jesus says: John 13:17 PickNT If you understand these things, you are blessed if you do them.
  • The Apostle says: James 1:22 NKJV But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
  • We do what we believe. Doing does not forgive sins. Doing shows we are forgiven and changed: James 2:18 NLT Now someone may argue, "Some people have faith; others have good deeds." But I say, "How can you show me your faith if you don't have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds."
  • Finally, Matthew 7:24-27 NLT "Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn't obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash."
We need and He gives grace to help us: Hebrews 13:9 NLT So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God's grace, not from rules about food, which don't help those who follow them.

09 June 2019

A Few Thoughts About Living a Christian Lifestyle

Lifestyle defined: noun the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, economic level, etc., that together constitute the mode of living of an individual or group. (Source)
The foundation, the first principle, of a lifestyle is
  • Our human nature is corrupted by sin.
  • Adam was the first sinner. Even though Eve committed the sin first, Adam is credited with the curse being on the universe. Sin brings destruction.
    • Romans 5:14 BSB Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who did not sin in the way that Adam transgressed. He is a pattern of the One to come.
    • 1 Corinthians 15:22 NKJV For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
  • Original sin is not that we are punished for Adam’s sin, for we are punished for our own sins. Original is the sin nature that we all have. It is “Me First.”
  • We need to be born again, to have the new nature.
When God created the universe and everything in it, He made it according to His rules and attitudes.
  • The first principle, in my opinion, is truth.
    • Psalm 31:5 CSB Into your hand I entrust my spirit; you have redeemed me, LORD, God of truth.
    • Hebrews 6:18 CSB So that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us.
  • The second is love. Love is a choice, not necessarily an emotion. The actions of love in public and in private are found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a.
  • Love and truth are found together: 3 John 1:1 NET From the elder, to Gaius my dear brother, whom I love in truth.
  • So we have the summary of the Law: Matthew 22:36-40 NIV "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
  • This, in turn, is based on the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are a summary of all God’s laws. Each commandment is a board category (I wrote about this here; scroll down to “Knowing temptation comes in 10 broad areas). Each can be in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds. Each is to be followed in public and in private.
In the New Testament
  • There are approximately 1,000 rules for Christians. Here is one list: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 NET Always rejoice, constantly pray, in everything give thanks. For this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not extinguish the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt. But examine all things; hold fast to what is good. Stay away from every form of evil.
  • To know God’s rules for Christians in different categories for marriage or lying, we can see
God’s rules don’t change
  • Often people make the statement about God’s ways changing, but
    • God’s character does not change
      • 1 Samuel 15:29 NLT And he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!"
      • Numbers 23:19 NLT - God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
      • Hebrews 6:18 NLT - So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.
    • He rules His kingdom with His laws that do not change
  • God’s character does not change regarding His laws or promises
    • Malachi 3:6 NRSV For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, have not perished.
    • James 1:17-18 NRSV Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
What God hates: Galatians 5:19-21 WEB Now the deeds of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom.
What God loves: Galatians 5:22-23 WEB But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
So living the principles of the Christian life today are the same as they were when Christianity began at Pentecost. The rules, the promises, what God loves, what God hates are the same. We can safely read the Bible and live a Christian life.
We learn God’s will by things we must do, things we must not do, examples of things that pleased God or displeased Him, and principles that we can apply in many ways.

08 June 2019

A Few Thoughts About Temptation

1 Corinthians 10:12-13 WEL Therefore, the one who thinks he stands, beware lest he fall. 13 No temptation has taken you but what is common to humanity, but God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, and with the temptation he will also make a way to escape, so that you can endure it.
We must be aware that we are weakest when we think we are strong.
A false confidence will lead to problems.
You’ve probably see pictures as this:

If we are confident we can overcome a temptation, a tempting situation, a tempting environment, etc., we probably will fall.
So Peter thought: Mark 14:31, 69-71 NET But Peter insisted emphatically, "Even if I must die with you, I will never deny you." And all of them said the same thing. ... When the slave girl saw him, she began again to say to the bystanders, "This man is one of them." But he denied it again. A short time later the bystanders again said to Peter, "You must be one of them, because you are also a Galilean." Then he began to curse, and he swore with an oath, "I do not know this man you are talking about!"
Will happen:
  • God does not tempt: James 1:13 NET Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one.
  • The underlying principle of temptation is our desires. Even as Christians, we have desires. A desire that is godly is OK, but ungodly desires are wrong. A desire to eat is expected, but when it consumes us, overpowers us, and we indulge in overeating, we are addicted. Note, sin itself is addicting, for we cannot stop. Only God’s grace is suffice.
Need to be alert, aware, that temptation will happen:
    • Matthew 26:41 NKJV "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
    • 1 Peter 5:8 NKJV Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Help to be delivered. We cannot do it on our own: 2 Peter 2:9 NKJV Then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment.
Satan hates God and believers
He tempts, so Believers will fall away: 1 Thessalonians 3:5 NKJV For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain.
He makes sin attractive and stirs up our desires: James 1:13-15 NIV When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Deliverance. We need to be
  • Awareness of God’s grace: Romans 6:14 NLT Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God's grace.
  • Awareness of seeking His wisdom: 2 Corinthians 1:12 NLT We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God's grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you.
  • Awareness of temptation, even temptation from fake Christians: 2 Corinthians 1:12 NLT We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God's grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you.
  • Avoid those things we know are dangerous as an alcoholic should not be a bartender.
  • Be humble. As our verse states, “Therefore, the one who thinks he stands, beware lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12 WEL).
  • Knowing that temptation comes in 10 broad areas.
      • Related to God
        • No other God except Yahweh, so anything of greater importance is sin
        • No images of God, since we do not know what God looks like, so no idols.
        • No blasphemy, so not to diss His name, His character, His actions, His decisions, His rules, His judgment, His attributes, etc.
        • One day a week special to God. The Sabbath is not repeated in the New Testament for Christians. Still, there needs to be one day of rest and worship.
      • Related to Humans
        • Honor parents, so respect them and help them if possible.
        • No murder
        • No adultery, so no sexual sins.
        • No stealing
        • No false witness, so no lying.
        • No coveting
      • These sins and temptation to sin can be in thoughts, desires, words, and/or deeds.
      • Temptation itself is not a sin
  • We need to know God’s ways and thoughts. This can come only from reading and studying the Bible in its plain, normal sense.
  • We need fellowship. We can’t make it alone if there are other believers available.
  • We need to pray. Hebrews 4:16 NIV Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
  • We need to realize that all sin is addictive. John 8:34 NLT Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin.
  • We need to understand that even the greatest saints are tempted: Romans 7:23-25 NLT But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
Some resources (I can’t vouch for the website but found these helpful).
Daniel and many other sought God’s help: Daniel 6:11 NLT Then the officials went together to Daniel's house and found him praying and asking for God's help.

05 June 2019

A Few Thoughts About Covering Up Sin

It is a must reading how religious leaders cover up their sins and the sins of other leaders, pastors, missionaries, teachers, and members. It is a disgrace to God, to Christianity, and to the leaders and members who are godly.
These fake Christians need to be exposed.
Covering up sin is dealt with in the Scriptures.
  • Great victories had come to Israel. The army approached Ai, a small town. “Surely,” they thought, “we will easily win this battle.” They lost. They grieved. Joshua and the people wept, prayed to God, and complained, but God was angry and explained that Israel had sinned.
  • God had commanded that whatever was in Jericho was God’s, not any individual’s. This had not been obeyed. It was covered up.
  • A few of the verses:
Joshua 7:1, 3-4, 6-7, 10-11, 13-15, 20-22, 26 NLT But Israel violated the instructions about the things set apart for the LORD. A man named Achan had stolen some of these dedicated things, so the LORD was very angry with the Israelites. Achan was the son of Carmi, a descendant of Zimri son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah. ... When they returned, they told Joshua, "There's no need for all of us to go up there; it won't take more than two or three thousand men to attack Ai. Since there are so few of them, don't make all our people struggle to go up there." So approximately 3,000 warriors were sent, but they were soundly defeated. The men of Ai ... Joshua and the elders of Israel tore their clothing in dismay, threw dust on their heads, and bowed face down to the ground before the Ark of the LORD until evening. Then Joshua cried out, "Oh, Sovereign LORD, why did you bring us across the Jordan River if you are going to let the Amorites kill us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side! ... But the LORD said to Joshua, "Get up! Why are you lying on your face like this? Israel has sinned and broken my covenant! They have stolen some of the things that I commanded must be set apart for me. And they have not only stolen them but have lied about it and hidden the things among their own belongings. ... "Get up! Command the people to purify themselves in preparation for tomorrow. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Hidden among you, O Israel, are things set apart for the LORD. You will never defeat your enemies until you remove these things from among you. "In the morning you must present yourselves by tribes, and the LORD will point out the tribe to which the guilty man belongs. That tribe must come forward with its clans, and the LORD will point out the guilty clan. That clan will then come forward, and the LORD will point out the guilty family. Finally, each member of the guilty family must come forward one by one. The one who has stolen what was set apart for destruction will himself be burned with fire, along with everything he has, for he has broken the covenant of the LORD and has done a horrible thing in Israel." ... Achan replied, "It is true! I have sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel. Among the plunder I saw a beautiful robe from Babylon, 200 silver coins, and a bar of gold weighing more than a pound. I wanted them so much that I took them. They are hidden in the ground beneath my tent, with the silver buried deeper than the rest." So Joshua sent some men to make a search. They ran to the tent and found the stolen goods hidden there, just as Achan had said, with the silver buried beneath the rest. ... They piled a great heap of stones over Achan, which remains to this day. That is why the place has been called the Valley of Trouble ever since. So the LORD was no longer angry.
Covering up a crime discussed: Genesis 37:26 NLT Judah said to his brothers, "What will we gain by killing our brother? We'd have to cover up the crime.
False prophets (and pastors and other religious workers today) cover up sins:
B1 Ezekiel 22:28 NLT And your prophets cover up for them by announcing false visions and making lying predictions. They say, 'My message is from the Sovereign LORD,' when the LORD hasn't spoken a single word to them.
B2 Another translation: Ezekiel 22:28 GNB The prophets have hidden these sins like workers covering a wall with whitewash. They see false visions and make false predictions. They claim to speak the word of the Sovereign LORD, but I, the LORD, have not spoken to them.
We are not to cover up but to expose.
Proverbs 28:13 NLT People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.
We are to hate evil, not cover it up: Romans 12:9 WEL Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil. Stick tightly to what is good.
The Lord Jesus exposed sin:
B1 John 3:20 NLT All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.
B2 John 7:7 NLT The world can't hate you, but it does hate me because I accuse it of doing evil.
The prophets exposed sin: Amos 5:10-11 NLT How you hate honest judges! How you despise people who tell the truth! You trample the poor, stealing their grain through taxes and unfair rent. Therefore, though you build beautiful stone houses, you will never live in them. Though you plant lush vineyards, you will never drink wine from them.
The purpose of exposing sin is to bring conviction and repentance. Consider King David after he had raped Bathsheba and ordered her husband to be murdered.
B1 He acknowledges his sin: Psalms 51:3 NRSV For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
B2 He acknowledges his sin is against God: Psalms 51:4 NRSV Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment.
B3 He acknowledges original sin (the sin nature that all humans have except for the Lord Jesus): Psalms 51:5 NRSV Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.
B4 He acknowledges God’s value placed on truth. God knows everything, so we might as well agree with God’s opinion. Psalms 51:6 NRSV You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
B5 He acknowledges that only God can forgive sin: Psalms 51:7 NRSV Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
B6 He acknowledges that only God can fix what is broken in a person’s soul: Psalms 51:10 NRSV Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
B7 David doesn’t ask for happiness; he pleads for joy in his soul that only God can give: Psalms 51:12 NRSV Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.
B8 He acknowledges that God doesn’t want penance, instead God wants a broken (that is not proud) attitude: Psalms 51:17 NRSV The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

04 June 2019

A Few Thoughts About "Forgive and Forget"

Often pastors, church leaders, and many people counsel(?) the abused, molested, the hurt, etc. people to forgive and forget. The quotes are from one source, but similar can be found in many places. Consider
  • Girl Redeemed: Though my siblings NEVER apologize and continue the same abusive behaviors toward me, and sometimes my husband, I am expected to be a good Christian and forget about it almost immediately. (Source)
  • Colleen: Thank you so much for this. I have had people tell me I need to forgive my offender and no matter how much I say I have it doesn’t seem to be the answer they were looking for. Now I see that they were pushing for reconciliation of the forgive-and-forget kind. My offender told me I was playing the victim when I kindly but firmly tried to explain the hurts he had done. (Source)
  • Natalie: He said he was sorry, so I need to give him a fresh start.We hear this in religious circles quite often. “Forgive and forget.” “Turn the other cheek.” “Love covers up a multitude of sins.” (Source)
What does the Bible teach us?
B1 There is no such thing as forgive and forget.
B2 Sin has consequences.
C1 Adam was forgiven, yet still died.
C2 David sinned but still suffered punishment. His sin also brought about the death of his son and grief to Bathsheba. 2 Samuel 12
C3 Paul still had bad memories and sorrow for his sins. Galatians 1:13-16 NET For you have heard of my former way of life in Judaism, how I was savagely persecuting the church of God and trying to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my nation, and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. But when the one who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I could preach him among the Gentiles, I did not go to ask advice from any human being.
C4 Manasseh
Sinned greatly: 2 Chronicles 33:9 NET But Manasseh misled the people of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem so that they sinned more than the nations whom the LORD had destroyed ahead of the Israelites.
Punished: 2 Chronicles 33:10-11 NET The LORD confronted Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. So the LORD brought against them the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria. They seized Manasseh, put hooks in his nose, bound him with bronze chains, and carried him away to Babylon.
Repented: 2 Chronicles 33:12-13 NET In his pain Manasseh asked the LORD his God for mercy and truly humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. When he prayed to the LORD, the LORD responded to him and answered favorably his cry for mercy. The LORD brought him back to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh realized that the LORD is the true God.
Showed reform: 2 Chronicles 33:15-16 NET He removed the foreign gods and images from the LORD's temple and all the altars he had built on the hill of the LORD's temple and in Jerusalem; he threw them outside the city. He erected the altar of the LORD and offered on it peace offerings and thank offerings. He told the people of Judah to serve the LORD God of Israel.
Still Judah received punishment: 2 Kings 23:26 NET Yet the LORD's great anger against Judah did not subside; he was still infuriated by all the things Manasseh had done. And 2 Kings 24:3 NET Just as the LORD had announced, he rejected Judah because of all the sins which Manasseh had committed.
C5 What a person sows in sin will be punished. Sin has consequences. God is not made a fool. Galatians 6:7 CSB Don't be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a person sows he will also reap.
B3 Forgiveness
C1 Teaching: Luke 17:3-4 GNB So watch what you do! "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4 If he sins against you seven times in one day, and each time he comes to you saying, 'I repent,' you must forgive him."
C2 Some notes about forgiveness:
D1 Only God can forgive sin:
E1 The Jews understood this: Mark 2:7 NET "Why does this man speak this way? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
E2 Jesus paid the penalty for sin: 1 John 4:10 NLT This is real love--not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
D2 When God forgives someone of their sins, conditions must be met.
E1 Confession, that is, admitting one’s sin. “Yes, I sinned. Yes, I did do that.” 1 John 1:9 NLT But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
E2 Repentance, that is, turning around from the attitude of sin, the acts of sin, and the thoughts of sin. They do not do this sin anymore. It must be noticed both in public and in private. 1 Kings 8:47 NLT But in that land of exile, they might turn to you in repentance and pray, 'We have sinned, done evil, and acted wickedly.' Note: they agreed with God’s evaluation of their attitudes and deeds, then ask for God to forgiven.
F1 Repentance is not just saying, “I’m sorry.” There needs to be contrition and a change publicly and privately. Matthew 3:8 NLT Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.
F2 The Greek word for repent (μετάνοια metánoia, G3341) means to turn around, a change. It would to agree with God’s opinion, rules, and decisions.
F3 Being sad, being caught, being confronted is not repentance: 2 Corinthians 7:10 NET For sadness as intended by God produces a repentance that leads to salvation, leaving no regret, but worldly sadness brings about death.
E3 Asking. Luke 18:13 NLT "But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, 'O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.'
E4 Forsaking them. This includes thoughts, desires, words, and deeds both in public and in private.
F1 2 Timothy 2:19 NLT But God's truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: "The LORD knows those who are his," and "All who belong to the LORD must turn away from evil."
F2 1 Peter 3:11 NLT Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
D3 Forgiveness is not seeking revenge. Turning the abuser over to God, to law enforcement, to the public’s knowledge, is not revenge. When a crime is committed, it must be reported.
B4 Scars remain after abuse:
C1 Recognition: After leaving, there has to be recognition that there was abuse.
C2 Shock
C3 Anger
C4 Depression
C5 Bargaining
C6 Acceptance
C7 It takes time. Everyone is different. You probably should seek counseling.
Domestic Abuse
B2 Cry for Justice (Barbara Roberts)
B3 Unholy Charade (Jeff Crippen)
Sexual Molestation: Jimmy Hinton
Pastoral Abuse:
Emergencies. Do not hesitate if you need immediate help. If you are in danger, call.
C1 1-800-4-A-Child
C2 Same number 1-800-422-4453
B2 National Domestic Abuse (USA): 1-800-799-7233 or (TTY) 1-800-787-3224
B3 Or (USA) 911
The Exhausted Woman (Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

03 June 2019

A Few Thoughts About Devotions

Bible reading, study, and thinking about the passage should be a daily blessing to every believer.
I started my own plan about 1.5 years ago. I read through the Old Testament once every 3 years and though the New Testament once a year. Every 3 years I read through the Old Testament once and the New Testament 3 times.
I ask myself 2 questions for every devotion.
  1. What does this mean?
  2. How do I apply this to my life?
Here is an example from 29 May 19.
2 Chronicles 2
What does this mean?
King Solomon is finalizing plans to build the Temple. Nearly 154,000 men are hired. Their job is to transport things, finish cut the stone, or supervise. When I read verses 4-5, I am blessed by Solomon’s attitude and desire to worship. Solomon looks to the King of Tyre to supply a gifted craftsman to assist. King Hiram gives a strong statement, too, concerning God and praising Him.
How do I apply this to my life?
I cannot worship in that Temple, but I can still offer spiritual sacrifices of myself, songs, my goods, and my will. We can read and listen to what gifted men and women have learned in their study of the Scriptures. Am I willing to praise God in private and in public?
Acts 18
What does this mean?
Paul and companions move on to Corinth to preach the Gospel. Paul finds Aquila and his wife Priscilla. They worked making tents to earn money for their support. They used the Sabbath to worship God by testifying about the Messiah, Jesus. The effect was limited as most Jews resisted God’s grace, but a large number of Gentiles believed. Paul is encouraged by God to continue. Paul stayed and taught the Word of God (the Bible) for 1.5 years but finally faced severe Jewish opposition. These unbelieving Jews lied to get Paul in trouble. Then the Apostles went to Antioch. Leaving there, Paul made a vow in Cenchreae and traveled to various other cities. Apollos, a believing Jew, who knew the Scriptures began preaching the Gospel. He had one error though, an error of ignorance and was corrected by Aquila and Priscilla. Apollos then used the Scriptures to prove that Jesus is Messiah.
How do I apply this to my life?
Study the Bible to know Christianity. We must also study apologetics. Use the Scriptures to show the reason we believe.
Let me encourage you to also read, study, and think about the Scriptures. Use whatever plan you wish but do study daily. We need it daily.

02 June 2019

A Few Thoughts On Music

Many consider music to be neutral when it comes to worship music. If the words are Christian, they say, then it is Christian.
Consider some of these clips. Then decide for yourself.
Two sites for music by mood
  1. Aggressive Hard Bounce
  2. Angry Aggressive Long Live Death
  3. Calming, Relaxing One Fine Day
  4. Bouncy, Bright Boxcar Rag
Is this Great Christian Music? Music Video Mood Board
Is there any worship difference in this old hymn? I’m not judging as I enjoy either version.
How would we use the 3 renditions of Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting in different situations in church?
How can music affect our church worship?
What is the importance of singing worshipful music?
What is the difference when church music is entertainment versus worship?
Why do animals react to music? See here.
Well, anyway, let us be worship when we sing!

01 June 2019

A Few Thoughts on Beauty

When people speak of beauty, they are usually referring to physical beauty of people, but that’s not what I’m writing about.
Julie Roys has an article titled, “The Necessity of Beauty When Confronting Evil.” She writes:
I was discussing this struggle once with a close friend, and he urged me that especially considering my work as an investigative journalist, I need to take in beauty as a regular discipline. At first, that seemed odd. Take in beauty? What does that even mean?
Yet, it’s Scriptural. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” I’ve found that the more I practice this discipline of beauty, the healthier my soul becomes.
So now, I try to take in beauty daily by running on a beautiful path, picking flowers and putting them in vases throughout the house, watching an inspirational movie, or reading the Psalms.
God is a God of beauty
C1 Priestly garments: Exodus 28:2 NET You must make holy garments for your brother Aaron, for glory and for beauty.
C2 Preaching the Gospel: Romans 10:15 NLT And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, "How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!"
C3 The New Jerusalem: Revelation 21:11-14, 18, 20-21 NLT It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone--like jasper as clear as crystal. The city wall was broad and high, with twelve gates guarded by twelve angels. And the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were written on the gates. There were three gates on each side--east, north, south, and west. The wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. ... The wall was made of jasper, and the city was pure gold, as clear as glass. ... the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were made of pearls--each gate from a single pearl! And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass.
C4 The restored Garden of Eden, now in the New Jerusalem: Revelation 22:1-2 NLT Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.

This world is cursed because of sin, yet much beauty remains.
Take time to enjoy beauty.