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Archive for October, 2009

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“John the Baptist said he was a crying voice because he was a Baptist,” says Kaylin, 11.

I wonder if Kaylin’s assertion should be considered for a vote at the national convention of the Southern Baptists.

“John did not want them to think he was Jesus,” said Morgan, 9. “Jesus was his cousin.”

When the religious leaders asked John, “Who are you?” he could have said, “I’m not the Messiah, but he’s my cousin.” John and Jesus were probably cousins. The Bible says John’s mother and Mary were relatives (Luke 1:36). John resisted the temptation to call attention to himself.

“John was trying to say to the Jews, I am just a person coming to tell about Jesus,” says Jessica, 8. “I am no one important. I cannot save you from your evil ways. Only Jesus can. I have been chosen by God to come and speak to you.”

Humility is what we can learn from John the Baptist. In a sermon, Pastor Jerry Hoffman made several interesting observations about the questioning of John the Baptist as it relates to us. Hardly a day goes by when we aren’t asked in one way or another, “Who are you?”

We often identify ourselves in terms of our job, profession or family relations. Not John. He gives all honor to the Lord Jesus. He knew the buzz from Jerusalem was that he might be the Messiah. “I am not the Christ,” he said.

Next, they wanted to know if John was Elijah. In the last two verses of the last book in the Old Testament, God promises to send Elijah “before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Malachi 4:5).

About John the Baptist, Jesus said, “And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come” (Matthew 11:14). In other words, John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah. Through his prophetic message and miracles, God sent Elijah to turn the nation of Israel and its leaders back to the Lord. Similarly, God sent John the Baptist to announce the Messiah’s coming to Israel and the impending judgment if they failed to receive him.

By 70 A.D., Jerusalem lay in ruins. Although Jewish Apostles and converts started the early church in Jerusalem, they soon found themselves persecuted by their countrymen. Like John the Baptist, Jesus warned of coming judgment. As Jesus accurately predicted, the temple and Jerusalem were destroyed within a generation (Matthew 24).

To summarize John’s ministry, Hoffman writes: “Christ is the Word of God. We are simply the instruments (voices) through which the Word flows to the world. John the Baptist, more than any other individual who walked this earth since his time, had the right to heap accolades upon himself.

“He was related to the Lord, he was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, and he had a band of disciples who followed his teaching. Yet, the cry of his heart and voice was ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’ In other words, it’s not about me, the King is coming, prepare your hearts to receive Him. Remove all of the obstacles in your life that would prevent him from coming to you.”

Think about this: True ministry points others to Jesus Christ, not to ourselves. Memorize this truth: “I am ‘the voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the Lord”‘” (John 1:23). Ask this question: Is your voice pointing people to Jesus Christ?

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What or Who is a Jew?

My pastor mentioned something tonight that caused me to ask the above question.  I have searched and cannot find a definitive answser. However, my research shows that most Jews consider a Jew to be someone who:

  • Is a descendant physically or spiritually of Jacob
  • Has a Jewish mother
  • Has officially converted to Judaism
  • Is an Israelite

But this brings up another question. On the JewFaq.org site, under the heading “Who is a Jew?” I found the following statement:

“It is important to note that being a Jew has nothing to do with what you believe or what you do. A person born to non-Jewish parents who has not undergone the formal process of conversion but who believes everything that Orthodox Jews believe and observes every law and custom of Judaism is still a non-Jew, even in the eyes of the most liberal movements of Judaism, and a person born to a Jewish mother who is an atheist and never practices the Jewish religion is still a Jew, even in the eyes of the ultra-Orthodox. In this sense, Judaism is more like a nationality than like other religions, and being Jewish is like a citizenship.”

Now, if being a Jew has nothing to do with what one believes, then how can someone who is a Jew one day, become a non-Jew the next day by believing that Christ is the Messiah?  Can someone please answer this for me?

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I received an email not long ago with a supposed speech by Theodore Roosevelt.  While not actually one of his speeches (it was a letter) and not written while he was president, it was true.  Here is the content of the email:

‘In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American… (more…)

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This story has appeard thousands of times on the internet but with no attribution. If you know the author, please send me the name so I can give him or her proper credit.  Even so, I thought it a beautiful story and certainly worth repeating in this age where marriages often end before the honeymoon bills are paid.

Jocelyn married William this day. At the end of the wedding party, Jocelyn’s mother gave her a newly opened bank saving passbook with $1,000 deposit amount.

Mother: ‘Jocelyn, take this passbook. Keep it as a record of your marriage life. When … (more…)

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no_taxesTaxation for non-essential programs is stealing. Some may argue the idea that a consensus or majority makes it different, and morally acceptable. However, is there ever a real “consensus of majority?” Tax laws are initiated by the House and approved by the Senate. Both groups together make up a very minute percentage of the population…

(more…)

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Does the Sabbath, as practiced by some religions, start and end at sunset or, as this author claims, start and end at dawn?  The article presents a very well written argument for the latter.  What do you think?  Is the author right or wrong?  Read the article then post your opinion below. (more…)

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