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Friday, January 30, 2009

"If I should die before I wake . . ."

William prayed every night before he went to bed, but last night he had trouble. "If I should die before I wake . . . if I should die . . ."

"Go on, William," said his mother, "you know the rest of the prayer."

"Just a moment," he said, and jumping to his feet he ran out the bedroom door and down the stairs. Shortly, his running feet brought him quickly back into the room, and he fell down on his knees, taking up the prayer from where he left off.

When his mother asked him about what happened, William said, "Mom, I thought about what I was saying and had to stop and put all Johnny's skateboard tools back on his dresser. I had hid them just to see how mad he'd be in the morning. If I should die before I wake, I wouldn't want him to find them missing. Lots of things seem fun if your gonna keep on living, but you don't want 'em that way if you die before you wake."

His mother's voice quivered, "You are right, sweetheart."

What wrong do you need to undo against someone, in case you die before you wake?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

"I am afraid of another miscarriage."

“What should I do? I am upset with God and I am tired of crying. My sister had a miscarriage and I think it is my fault because of sin. I keep asking Jesus/God to give my sister another baby. I am ready for her to have another, but I am afraid of another miscarriage. What can I do to convince God to let my sister have another baby?”

Have you ever read Psalm 139? I encourage you to make verses 1-6 a prayer of admission of who God is. He knows everything about you, your sister, how you feel. The Lord is God and He is at work to display His own glory in His own way. Oftentimes we tend to get upset because we have a limited perspective on what He is doing—but He sees the big picture. These verses help us remember who is in control.

Make verses 7-12 a prayer of surrender. No matter what you experience, trust Him—believe Him. He cannot lie, so if we don’t trust Him, we are saying we know better than Him. God is right there with you, your sister, the baby--even through the darkest hour. Remember: King David had a child and lost him while he was still an infant; nevertheless, he still sought after God’s heart.

Verses 13-16 remind us of what is going on in the womb. As a father and grandfather-to-be, I have been in awe of what God does, watching babies grow and come and go in the world. God knows what He is doing. Note verse 16.

Verses 17-18 remind us that God’s thoughts are precious, and He remains near. Are His thoughts precious to you?

Verses 19-22 remind us that God is good and we need to be willing to separate from sin and wickedness—and that includes selfishness (which is idolatry—loving ourselves more than God)—check your heart and see if it is rising up against God.

Read verses 23-24. Ask God to show you your heart and confess any sin against Him (see verses 7-12). In his loving grace through the shed blood of Jesus, He is ready to forgive. This can be a comforting prayer for you.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"I'm glad that I don't have that heart anymore."

"Dr. Christian Barnard tells of one of his heart-transplant patients asking to see the newly removed organ. Obligingly, the doctor brought from the laboratory the large bottle where the old heart had been placed. As the man looked at the bug muscle which once pumped life through his body, the famed surgeon suddenly realized that this was the first time in human experience that a person had ever seeen his own heart.

It was indeed a historic moment. But for the patient the sensation must have been even more moving, for the old heart was worn out. Had it not been replaced, life would soon have been extinct.

After a long pause, the grateful man looked up and said, 'I'm glad that I don't have that heart anymore.'"

Coleman, Robert. Written in Blood: A Devotioal Study on the Blood of Christ. New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1972.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

India Republic Day (India): 58 years of Indian Democracy

A special message to some of the languages recognized by the Indian Constitution:

1. Assamese
2. Bengali (Bengali Musselmani)
3. Gujarati
4. Hindi
5. Kannada
6. Kashmiri
7. Konkani
8. Malayalam
9. Manipuri
10. Marathi
11. Nepali
12. Oriya
13. Punjabi
14. Sanskrit
15. Sindhi
16. Tamil.
17. Telugu
18. Urdu

Hope and Change

Some thoughts from my friend, Dr. John Williamson at the First Baptist Church of Ridgeway,
SC
:

"Last Tuesday, our nation inaugurated a new president amid shouts of 'hope' and 'change.' I don't mean to sound cynical, but didn't we hear this before about two years ago, and two years before that, etc. Any candidate wins an election by promising hope and change. No one has ever
run on a platform of: 'Let's keep everything just like it is.'

For the Christian, our hope for change is not found in any human political leader as well intended as he or she may be. Our hope is in the Returning Lord, 'Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence' (I Peter 3:15).

I'm also very glad that our God never changes. 'I the LORD do not change' (Malachi 3:6). Whatever He was; He still is! Whatever He said, He'll still fulfills."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year!

神救人的简易方案
生死存亡的大事

朋友!我要问你人生中最最重要的问题, 它是与你永远的喜乐或悲伤紧密相连的。这个问题就是:“你得救了吗?” 这不是问你有没有行善,也不是问你有没有加入教会,而是问你有没有得救,也就是问你能不能肯定,你死了以后一定会上天堂。 真神耶稣在圣经的约翰福音3:7 中说,为了能上天堂,“你们必须重生。” 圣经把使人得救的方法告诉我们,让我们知道如何重生和得救。神的方法很简单,你现在就可以得救。你愿意吗?

Follow this link for an English translation

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saving Faith

“Faith, like grace, is not static. Saving faith is more than just understanding the facts and mentally acquiescing. It is inseparable from repentance, surrender, and a supernatural longing to obey. None of those responses can be classified as a human work, any more than believing itself is solely a human effort.”

MacArthur, John. “A Look At The Issues” The Gospel According to Jesus. Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 2008. P. 46

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Deep Touch of God's Grace

“God’s grace is not a static attribute whereby He passively accepts hardened, unrepentant sinners. Grace does not change a person’s standing before God yet leave his character untouched. Real grace does not include, a Chafer claimed, ‘the Christian’s liberty to do precisely as he chooses.’ True grace, according to Scripture, teaches us ‘to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12). Grace is the power of God to fulfill our new covenant duties (cf. 1 Cor. 7:19), however inconsistently we obey at times. Clearly, grace does not grant permission to live in the flesh; it supplies power to live in the Spirit.”

MacArthur, John. “A Look At The Issues.” The Gospel According to Jesus. Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 2008. P. 46

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Great White Throne and the Judgment of the Nations (continued from previous post)

While "Waiting for Godot" to arrive, Vladymir (Didi) banters with Estragon (Gogo) about the two thieves crucified along with Christ. Didi recalls that one was saved and the other was . . . he can't seem to remember, oh yes, "damned."

Funny how such little things (such as damnation) seem to slip just to the edge of recall. In like manner the subject of coming judgment for most is not a matter of great importance--if it were on the tip of the tongue, the matter could be swallowed by accident--who would miss it? Or like Gogo's old carrot--the more one eats, the worse it gets, so it gets spit out. Most treat the subject of judgment the way Didi does with Gogo's bad dreams--we just don't want to hear it. This (universe) is enough for us.

Judgment is coming. Last post we observed that the judgment of the cross has come and gone, which produced two kinds of people: those who enjoy the benefits of that judgment, and those who will not. Those who reject the judgment of the cross take upon themselves the Great White Throne Judgment, as described in Revelation 20:10-15: Satan will be the first cast into the lake of fire, followed by a resurrection and judgment of the unsaved dead. These souls will be raised from Hades and their bodies from death (the grave) or even the sea. They are then judged according to their evil works. Since their names are not found in the Book of Life, they are cast into the Lake of Fire, Gehenna, the final abode of the suffering ungodly forever.

So we have described different judgments: the judgment of the believer at the cross, and the judgment of the unbeliever at the Great White Throne.

The believer is judged in heaven (1 Corinthians 3:8-15), or at least "in the air." The unbeliever is judged at a place where there is no heaven or earth, but before the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11). There are none saved at the Great White Throne, and there are no unsaved at the Bema Seat.

The "dead in Christ" are resurrected and the living saints meet Christ in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:1-18; 1 Corinthians 15:23). At the Great White Throne, only the dead are called to appear (Revelation 20:12).

As for results: rewards and loss of rewards (see previous post) for the believer. For the unbeliever, damnation. Unflinchingly and without second thought. If this is a problem, stop complaining about it and repent from your sins and put your faith and trust in what God has provided for you by the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ so you don't have to face this day. Either you want to jettison your sins and miss damnation, or you want to cling to all you have and welcome this judgment with full knowledge. That's all there is to it.

One would be correct to think that judgment is not one single event, but part of a divine program, involving several distinct events, at different times and places. With that in mind, let us not let the Judgment of the Nations slip our grasp, and for this we begin with Matthew 25:31-46, to be studied in conjuntion with Joel 3. Dr. Gerald McGraw writes, "It is conceivable that God's judgment of the Jews (Mal. 3:2-6) should be considered as a prelude to the judgment of the Gentiles that will occur quite soon after Christ's return to the earth. The Jews seem to be described quite certainly by Christ in Matthew 25 as "my brethren" (25:40). Joel 3:1-3 declares that treatment of the Jews is an important criterion in this judgment." This final statement means that the Judgment of the Nations is based on works; that is, how the brethren, the Jews, are treated.

Who is involved in this Judgment of the Nations?

The judge is the Son of Man (Matt 25:31), the Son of God (Matt 25:34 ), the King (Matt 25:34, 40);
The witnesses are the angels (Matt 25:31), and the Christian (1 Corinthians 6:2);
Those to be judged: all nations (Matthew 25:32).

What does this judgment involve? Separation of evil from good (Matthew 25:32) and evil from God (Matthew 25:41).

What does this mean for those who reject Jesus and mistreat the Jews? For these unsaved individuals (nations are comprised of individuals), it means eternal damnation. Rightous nations, on the other hand, will enjoy the benefits of being the earthly population when Christ establishes his Millennial reign (Matthew 25:34 ), which includes eternal life for all who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:46).

So here we conclude with a judgment that occurs on the earth (Joel 3) among the nations (described as sheep, goats and "brethren"). There is no resurrection in this judgment, but those living are held accountable--the righteous will enter the kingdom and those judged are hell-bound.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dear Hacker,

You have willfully broken into my site placing posts from the Worldview Weekend site despite the measures I've taken to prevent this from happening, which amounts to breaking and entering (regardless of intention). Please discontinue this practice immediately.

I've been in touch with Brannon Howse and have submitted IP addresses and other information for investigation.

The fact that you intentionally hide your tracts is deceptive to me, my readers and to Worldview Weekend ministry. Deception is lying, which is a breach of God's moral law. Deception is not Christian behavior. You are a liar by admission through practice.

Repent of your sin, discontinue this behavior. You are accountable to God for your actions.

Judgment: the Cross and the Christian

A while back I shared the conversation I had with twin 10 year-old girls on my front doorstep. I showed them a Cross, asking if they knew what it was. They got excited and told me that "'t' stands for 'Church.'" They go to Sunday School and learn that all you have to do is be good, help people and stay in school and you will go to heaven.

Is that it? Just go to church and do good? Does Jesus' death on the cross mean anything? Are we to just believe that Jesus died on the cross so we can carry on in life stuggling to keep our noses clean, so to speak?

Is God supposed to let everybody into heaven just because Jesus died on the cross? Does God no longer judge because He is so gracious? If that is the case, then what do we do with 2 Peter 3:7, "But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men."?

Part of the confusion lies in the lack of teaching on the different kinds of judgments.

When Jesus died on the cross, a judgment for destiny was made--not a judgment of works. There Jesus suffered God's wrath against, or on behalf of, sin. For those who by faith put this judgment on their "account" (appropriate it to themselves), then they enjoy the benefits of this judgment and are regenerated, saved, born again. The judgment of the cross settles destiny, but does not settle works. Consider:

"All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him." (Isaiah 53:6).

"and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed." ( 1 Peter 2:24).

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us--for it is written, 'CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE.'" (Galatians 3:13)

"He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:18)

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1)

In order to escape the coming judgment pertaining to destiny, one must repent (turn from) his or her sin and place faith and trust in what God has already accomplished for him or her in Christ Jesus. There will no escape when that day arrives. Rejecting the cross means one rejects God's wrath poured out there and will take on the full outpouring of God's wrath personally--there will be no survivors.

Now, as to works. Two passages to consider: 1 Corinthians 3:8-15 and 2 Corinthians 5:9-10.

First, who is being judged? Well, who is "we" in the above-mentioned passages? Is it unrepentant unbelievers?

Second, where is the judgment occuring? 2 Corinthians 5:10 refers to the bema seat. Imagine you participated in a contest--whether you win or lose, as a participant you stand for judgment before a judge or group of judges. If you are not a participant, you cannot stand there. This is one way to think of the bema seat, reserved only for those who participate. One who has not benefited from the judgment of the cross will not stand here, but will stand at the Great White Throne judgment.

Now, what are the consequences of this bema seat judgment for Christians?

1. Reward 1 Corinthians 3:8, 14 Such as:

2. Loss of reward AND of one's work: "If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." (1 Corinthians 3:15)

(tomorrow, Judgment of the Nations and the Unsaved Dead)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

At least it died a clean death

Well, I finally did it.

I washed my cell phone.

It's dead.

You can remove my cell number from your phone books now.

Sorry.

Happy Inauguration Day!

"First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity." (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Obama calls for Revolution

"The all wonderful Mr.Obama gave a speech in Philadelphia. He invoked the founders, and called upon Americans to exhibit courage, specifically the courage of the Founders.

As he takes office, we find a federal budget with a deficit which has grown to incredible proportions. Mr. Obama is poised to roughly double it with his ‘recovery plan’. The smoke and mirrors he employs would impress the best of stage magicians. Hidden behind all the obfuscation is one central theme: Expand the scope, size and reach of the Federal Government in D.C."

Read the rest here.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saint Andonis Day (Greece)

Φίλε Μου, θέλω να σου θέσω το σπουδαιότε­ρο ερώτημα της ζωής: Η χαρά ή η θλίψη σου για όλη την αιωνιότητα εξαρτάται από την απάντηση που θα δώσεις σ' αυτό το κρίσιμο ερώτημα. Το ερώτημα είναι: Έχεις σωθεί; Δε σε ρωτώ πόσο καλός είσαι ή αν εκκλησιάζεσαι τακτικά, αλλά αν έχεις σωθεί. Είσαι σίγουρος ότι θα πας στον ου­ρανό μετά το θάνατο σου . . .
To Aπλο Σχεδιο Του θεου Гια Τη Σωτηρια Σου

Follow this link for an English Translation.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sinulog (Philippines)

HIGALA:Ako mangutana kanimo sa labihan ka bililhong pangutana sa kinabuhi. Ang imong kalipay o ang imong kasub-anan alang sa kinabuhing WALAY KATAPUSAN nagasalig lamang niining butanga. Ang pangutana mao: LUWASka na ba? Dili sa imong pagkamembro sa simbahan; kon dili,LUWAS KA NA BA?Dili nga unsa ikaw, kon dili,LUWAS KA NA BA?Walay usa nga maka-tagamtam sa panalangin sa Dios o makaadto sa Langit nga dili linuwas. Si Jesus miingon kang Necodemo sa Juan 3:7,“KINAHANGLAN MAGPAKATAWO KAMO PAG-USAB.” Ang Dios nagahatag sa Iyang Pulong kanato ngaUSAlamang ka plano sa Kaluwasan. Ang Plano mayano, mahimong maluwas ikawKARON.

Ang Yanong Plano sa Dios sa Kaluwasan

Follow this link for an English Translation.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Satan

A boy and his father went to the zoo.
While there they saw a lion in a cage.
The boy was frightened because he saw the lion.
The father was not frightened because he saw the cage.

Should the Christian view of Satan be that of the father, or the boy?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Mistake?

The other day I saw a headline on someone's webpage which read, "Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking." I immediately thought of Romans 14:12 which reads, "So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God."

I found this card in my topical file under "sin":

What man calls an "accident," God calls "abomination."
What man calls a "blunder," God calls "blindness."'
What man calls "defect," God calls "disease."
What man calls "chance," God calls "choice."
What man calls "error," God calls "enmity."
What man calls "fascination," God calls "fatality."
What man calls "infirmity," God calls "iniquity."
What man calls "luxury," God calls "leprosy."
What man calls "liberty," God calls "lawlessness."
What man calls "trifle," God calls "tragedy."
What man calls a "mistake," God calls "madness."
What man calls "weakness," God calls "willfulness."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

An athiest once confessed . . .

"It's nice to think that there is someone out there that can help us."

--Carl Sagan, from the 1978 PBS Documentary, "Chariots of the Gods."

Monday, January 12, 2009

Truly happy

Samuel Rutherford (1600? - 1661), a member of the council that wrote the Westminster Confession, was imprisoned because of his beliefs. While in prison, he wrote this soul-strengthening letter expressing the joy that sustained him through his trials:

“If God had told me some time ago that He was about to make me as happy as I could be in this world, and then had told me that He should begin by crippling me in all my limbs, and removing me from all my usual sources of enjoyment, I should have thought it a very strange mode of accomplishing His purpose. And yet, how is His wisdom manifest even in this! For if you should see a man shut up in a closed room, idolizing a set of lamps and rejoicing in their light, and you wished to make him truly happy, you would begin by blowing out all his lamps; and then throw open the shutters to let in the light of heaven.”

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Kurban Bajram (Macedonia)

Пријателе. ти го поставувам најваж-ното прашање во животот. Од твојот одговор зависи твојата радост или тво-јата тага за сета вечност. Прашањето е:Дали си спасен? Не се работи за тоа колку си добар, ниту, пак, дали & при-паѓаш на некоја црква, туку дали си спасен? Дали си сигурен дека ќе замнеш на небо кога ќе умреш?

БОЖЈОТ ЕДНОСТАВЕН ПЛАН ЗА СПАСЕНИЕ

Follow this link for an English translation.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Purchased faith

To say that Christ redeemed men at the cross but did not also purchase for them the ability to believe would be like a man promising to give a thousand dollars to a blind man upon condition that he will open his eyes and see, which he knows full well the blind man cannot do.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

53 years ago today . . .

In memory of Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, Ed McCully, Nate Saint and Roger Yourderian.
Thank you, God, for what You have accomplished.

Read like a sieve

Dr. John Hannah, professor of Church History at Dallas Theological Seminary was encouraging a group of young people to read the Bible.

A hand of discouragement was raised, "It's no use! No matter how much I read, I always forget what I have just read."

Dr. Hannah replied, "Take heart. When you pour water over a sieve, no matter how much you pour, you don't collect much . . . but at least you have a clean sieve."

"Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You." (Psalm 119:11)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Hell

The words translated throughout the Bible which describe the place of eternal punishment are the subjects of much debate and interpretation. These terms have historically been been translated by using one word in the English, "hell;" but, one must understand the range of meaning in the original (such as "love" being translated from "eros," "phileo," or "agape") to get an accurate picture of what is meant by "hell."

For example, when the Bible refers to the "abyss," this is understood to include all of the entire underworld, though "depths" only speaks of the fathoms of the seas. The connotation of "abyss" includes all that is mean by "Sheol," "Hades," "Gehenna," "Tartarus," even "the Lake of Fire." The "abyss" is a pit.

The idea of "Tartarus" is "bottomless abyss." Some understand this to mean the lowest level of the abyss. Tartarus is the prison of the angels who sinned (Jude 6).

"Sheol" is the Hebrew term to mean the destination of all the dead. The range of meaning includes "grave," "pit," and "hell." Sheol is understood to be a boggy place, and as a final destination, one looked forward to a dismal existence there. Context helps with meaning as we may read of a person being laid in a "grave" but will not find a person being laid in a "sheol." The Greek Translation of the Hebrew Old Testament uses "Hades" for "Sheol."

"Hades" is known as the place the lost receive a measure-for-measure punishment, the "Lex Talonis" (after the Roman legal term), or "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" payment. Throughout history (Homer, Virgil, Plato, etc) Hades has been described as an incredibly awful place for the torments administered. For example, Plato warned his intiates that murderers will suffer punishment in Hades by suffering the same fate in the afterlife. In Gorgias (written about 525 BC), Plato speaks of the worst sinners hanging in the prison of Hades, to serve as examples for those who will forever dwell there. Homer, though mentioning four rivers and a lake in Hades, describes the everlasting thirst of those who are never able to reach them. This does no injustice to the Lake of Fire, as mentioned in scripture (Homer never says what kind of lake there is).

Jesus spoke of Gehenna (Gehinnom) in His descriptions of the place of eternal separation and pain. The basis for His language was an actual place known by the inhabitants of Jerusalem as a place of child sacrifice from their past history. That everyone knew about this site left no room for misunderstanding and the place was all the more wretched when they came to know this was their garbage dump. Fires were always burning, consuming the waste, so Jesus had no trouble communicating the intense heat which would torment rebellious mankind for eternity.

Many theologians feel they cannot fall asleep in church without being confronted by this horrible, truthful picture so they try to erase this reality for others by denying its existence with faulty arguments. If there is no eternal place of punishment, whether translated "hell" or otherwise, then Jesus is a liar.

The Lake of Fire (limne pyr) is a term that summarizes all that implied by "hell" in the gospels. The Bible does affirm that, of all the places used to describe the place of torment, Satan and all his angels will have this place as a final abode. Those who do not inherit the kingdom of God will find their punishment there as well (John 3:3; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 19:20; 20:10; 20:14-15; 21:8)--which should stand as a louder warning because this place was created for the destruction of the devil and his angels! How much worse will it be for the man who does not repent of his sins!

Works consulted:

Constable, Henry. "Hades; or, The Intermediate State of Man." London: "The Faith" Press, 1893.
Himmelfarb, Martha. "Tours of Hell: An Apocalyptic Form in Jewish and Christian Literature." Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983.
Martin, Walter. "The Kingdom of the Cults." Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1974.
Pache, Rene. "The Future Life." Chicago: Moody, 1962.
Sabiers, Karl. "Where Are the Dead?" Los Angeles: Robertson Publishing, 1940.
Vine, W.E. "An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words." New Jersey: Fleming Revell Co., 1966.
Woodson, Leslie H. "Hell and Salvation." Old Tappen, 1973.

Giornata Nazionale della Bandiera (Italy)

Amico, sto per farti la domanda più importante della vita. La tua gioia o la tua sofferenza per tutta l’eternità dipendono dalla tua risposta. E la domanda è: sei salvato? Non si tratta di sapere se sei buono o se sei membro di una chiesa. No, ma sei salvato? Sei sicuro di andare in Paradiso, quando morirai?

Il semplice piano di Dio per la salvezza dell'umanità

Follow this link for an English translation.

Ashura

خطة الله الواضحة للخلاص

Follow this link for an English translation.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Happy Three Kings Day!

Lieber Freund! Heute möchte ich dir die allerwichtigste Frage deines Lebens stellen. Deine ewige Seligkeit oder dein ewiges Verderben hängt davon ab. Die Frage ist: Bist du erlöst ? Es handelt sich nicht darum, ob du ein Mitglied einer bestimmten Kirche bist, sondern: Bist du erlöst ? Es kommt nicht darauf an, wie gut du bist, sondern die Frage ist: Bist du erlöst ? Niemand kann Gottes Segen erfahren oder das Himmelreich erben, ohne erlöst zu sein. Jesus sagte zu Nikodemus: ,,Ihr müßt von Neuem geboren werden" (So sagt die Bibel in Johannes 3,7). Gott zeigt uns in Seinem Wort den einzigen Weg zu unserer Erlösung. Es ist ganz einfach, du kannst heute noch errettet werden. Zuerst, mein Freund, mußt du einmal . . .

Gottes Einfacher Heilsplan

Magneto/Gandalf and Professor X/Pickard are Waiting for Godot?

This is not something one would normally find on this blog, but I could not resist. If you know anything about this play, then you know this particular casting of "Waiting for Godot" will rival Steve Martin and Robin William's 1988 performance . . .


Nothing to be done.
What else can we say, but "click on the pic for showtimes."

Fog

These first few days of 2009 seem to be somewhat dreary. Long before the sun goes down, a dense fog rolls in and stays through the night. While some parts of the country are digging themselves out of recent snowfalls, we are engulfed in fog.

Fog amazes me. I remember after just having moved from New Mexico to Georgia how we thought the sun would never be seen as each day was overcast and foggy. The church I served was nearly a half-hour's drive up a mountain and each night we came home, we were slowed to nearly a crawl at times as we navigated the steep hills back down the mountain. Sometimes the fog was so thick that an oncoming car with headlights on, mind you, would remain unseen until mere feet away. Streetlamps were almost invisible, even when passing underneath them.

Driving across town, I was working on some Bible memory verses when a thought came to my mind about the nearness of God. Recall with me how in the Old Testament God dwelt in the midst of the people and made Humself known in "the cloud." The tabernacle was filled with clouds of smoke from the incense burning before the Holy of Holies. Isaiah recalls his experience when He saw the Lord, lofty and exalted, the train of His robe filling the temple--which was filled with smoke, and the whole earth is full of God's glory.

That's what struck me as I drove through town--the whole earth is full of God's glory, and the fog is a reminder that God is not distant, but so present that He is pressing in on us from every side--even touching our bones. How interesting that during the end of our Christmas season when we celebrate His becoming flesh and dwelling among us, that God through the fog (or maybe a cloudy day) reminds us that He created the day for our rejoicing in Him.

The whole earth is full of His glory!

Monday, January 05, 2009

"What is love?"

I received two e-mails on the same day from two different people in India, both asking the same question. Amazing how God works. The question is simply, "what is love?"

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

When we understand that God loves us, we expect to find these characteristics towards us.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Friday, January 02, 2009

"New Year Prayer" by A.B. Simpson

"Lord, I would ask for a holy year;
Spent in Thy perfect will;
Help me to walk in Thy very steps--
Help me to please Thee still.

Lord, I would ask for a year of faith;
Give me Thy faith divine.
Taking my full inheritance,
Making Thy fullness mine.

Lord, I would ask for a year of love;
Oh, let me love Thee best!
Give me the love that faileth not
Under the hardest test.

Lord, I would ask for a busy year,
Filled up with service true;
Doing with all Thy Spirit's might
All that I find to do.

Lord, I would ask for a year of prayer--
Teach me to walk with Thee;
Breathe in my heart They Spirit's breath;
Pray Thou Thy prayer in me.

Lord, I would ask for a year of joy,
Thy peace, Thy joy divine,
Springing undimmed through all the days,
Whether of shade of shine.

Lord, I would ask for a year of hope,
Looking to Thee to come,
And hastening on that year of years,
That brings us Christ and Home."

Thursday, January 01, 2009

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