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Posts Tagged ‘bible’

Imitating Christ

crossHE WHO follows Me, walks not in darkness,” says the Lord. (John 8:12.)

By these words of Christ we are advised to imitate His life and habits, if we wish to be truly enlightened and free from all blindness of heart. Let our chief effort, therefore, be to study the life of Jesus Christ.

The teaching of Christ is more excellent than all the advice of the saints, and he who has His spirit will find in it a hidden manna. Now, there are many who hear the Gospel often but care little for it because they have not the spirit of Christ. Yet whoever wishes to understand fully the words of Christ must try to pattern his whole life on that of Christ.

What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you displease the Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him pleasing to God. I would rather feel contrition than know how to define it. For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God? Vanity of vanities and all is vanity, except to love God and serve Him alone.

This is the greatest wisdom—to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. It is vanity, therefore, to seek and trust in riches that perish. It is vanity also to court honor and to be puffed up with pride. It is vanity to follow the lusts of the body and to desire things for which severe punishment later must come. It is vanity to wish for long life and to care little about a well-spent life. It is vanity to be concerned with the present only and not to make provision for things to come. It is vanity to love what passes quickly and not to look ahead where eternal joy abides.

Often recall the proverb: “The eye is not satisfied with seeing nor the ear filled with hearing.” (Eccles. 1:8.) Try, moreover, to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace of God.

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One of the most insulting things which has ever been foisted upon Americans, especially black Americans, is the entirely fraudulent “traditional African holiday” called “Kwanzaa” by its inventor and principal perpetrator.

Ron Karenga (Dr. Maulana Ron Karenga) invented the seven-day feast (Dec. 26-Jan. 1) in 1966, promoting it as a black alternative to Christmas. He supposedly wanted to end what he considered the Christmas season exploitation of African Americans. In reality, I believe it was just one of the early salvos in America in the increasingly shrill efforts by many to denigrate Christianity, and remove it entirely from public discourse or display.

If you go to the official Kwanzaa Web site, as I did, you will see that the celebration was instigated to foster … read the rest of the article

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  • A Fat Servant is Better than a Skinny Corpse (Luke 15:17)
  • A Few Good Men: Gideon’s Army (J.F. Higgins)
  • A Good God On A Bad Day
  • A Lot to Learn from Lot (Genesis 14)
  • A Major Message From A Minor Prophet (Zephaniah 3:14-20)
  • A Nude Dude in a Rude Mood: A sermon on the Gadarene Demoniac
  • A Serious birth Defect (Psalm 51) (PLG)
  • A sermon on the Prodigal: Giving the Pigs a Permanent Wave (Paul Frerking, Meridian, Tx)
  • All stressed up and nowhere to go
  • American Culture-Polytheisism at its Best (A.S.)
  • An address to Submarine Christians–those who surface Christmas and Easter!
  • An Attitude of Gratitude (Luke 17:11-19) (J. Bryant)
  • Antidote for Anxiety (Philippians 4:6-8)
  • Are You a Low-Sodium Christian? Then Add a Little Spiritual Spice to Your Life! (Matthew 6)
  • Are You a Wet Water Walker or A Dry Boat Rider (Matthew 14:28)? (Aldren Sadler Sr.)
  • Are you in the Way, or are you in the way? (John 14:6) (JLN)
  • Are You Suffering from Malnutrition? (Matthew 4:1-4)
  • Bay of Pigs (casting demons into swine)
  • Be Careful With What You Think You Know (John 3:1-17)
  • Born to RAZE Hell. (raze-destroy,break down, demolish) (Tom Foster)
  • Bringing in the sheep (Looking for the one lamb)
  • But GOD Romans 5-8
  • Christians Stink – We are called to be the odorant to the world. Relating to the odorant added to LP gas. (R.P.)
  • Countdown To The Showdown (Armaggedon)
  • Crummy Faith (Matthew 15:21-28)
  • Deviled Ham (Luke 8:26-39) (Jim Robinson) (or: How about When Pigs Fly)
  • Do you have any NIKE’s (Gr. for victories)
  • Does God have a Plan B for us?
  • Don’t Panic It’s Just A Test
  • Don’t park in the handicap zone (be active in church) Steve Dixon
  • Don’t Set the Stage for Rage (on anger)
  • Don’t wait till the battle is over–shout now!
  • Driven to Distraction (Luke 10:38-42, Martha distracted by many things)
  • Free: Eternal Life Insurance! (L. Parman)
  • Get Off Your Donkey – Parable of Good Samaritan. (W. Vendt)
  • God wants to deal with your BUT (II Kings 5:1 Naaman was a mighty man of valour, but he was… – S. Green)
  • Gone With The Wind: (house on a rock) (RWJ)
  • Heaven can’t wait! (Revelation 21)
  • He’s Making A List And Checking It Twice (R. Wright)
  • Hind-sight, Blind-sight -Jesus heals the man born blind, and the Pharisees remain sightless. (C. Jennings)
  • Honey, We Need to Shrink the Camel (Matthew 19:23-26) (Jim Robinson)
  • How Are You Going To Get Along In Heaven With People You Can’t Get Along With Here?
  • How Big is Your Barn? (storing up treasures on earth)
  • How Does Your Garden Grow? (Parable of the Sower)
  • Human Sacrifice – Live at Eleven – (Communion)
  • If You Can’t Keep Up, Keep Going
  • I’m gonna be in heaven with him?
  • Is God your steering wheel or your spare tire.
  • Is Time your enemy or is time your friend? (Rev. G. Gregory)
  • Lamb Chops Anyone? (John 10:11-18)
  • Lost in His Own Back Yard (the older Brother)
  • Love ‘Em All, and Let God Sort ‘Em Out (loving your enemies)
  • Milk does the body Good (I Peter 2:2) (Rev Gino Dennis)
  • More Zip for the Trip – Elijah out running the chariots
  • Not Your Typical Baptist (Luke 3:1-6)
  • Nothing but Net (John 21) (Bobby Holland)
  • On Naaman – Lather, Rinse, Repeat
  • Prayer Meeting in Hell (Lazarus and the Rich Man)
  • Remember Lot’s wife. She was halted, she was exhalted, she was salted.
  • Seven Ducks In A Puddle (Namaan) (II Kings 5)
  • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, They didn’t bend they didn’t bow, they didn’t BURN. Casual Christianity
  • Shared Any Good ‘Yokes’ Lately? (message on servanthood) (David A. Hall)
  • Solve our Problems, but Save our Pigs (J. M.)
  • Some Will Wear Crowns…Others Will Wear Frowns (JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST) (C. Spurlock)
  • Standing On The Promises or Sitting On The Premises (sermon on service) (David A. Hall)
  • Survival of the Fittest or Cross training
  • Table Manners (On Communion)
  • The Buts of the Believer (II Corinthians 4:7-9) (JLN)
  • The Church – Some assembly required (Mike Petzer)
  • The company you keep! (I Samuel 10:5-11) (Eld. Harvin)
  • The Great Ommission
  • The little red devil behind the Pearly White Gates (sermon on the power of the tongue)
  • The Man in the Middle
  • The Mighty Mite-The Widow’s Mite
  • The rude, crude, dude in the nude (Luke 8:26)
  • The Saline Solution (Salt of the earth)
  • Three (Wise) Men and a Baby Christmas Sermon (Pastor Manuel Cruz Jr.)
  • Turn or Burn! (Revelation 20:15)
  • Unthawing the Frozen Chosen
  • Wait Watchers (Advent Sermon)
  • Wake Up – and Sell The Coffin (The widow of Nain’s son) (Mark Winters)
  • WANTED: SAINTS – DEAD OR ALIVE! (John 11:32-44 — M. Stone)
  • What on earth are you doing for Heavens’ sake?
  • What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do (Rev. Larry Moore)
  • What’s Up Doc? (Luke’s account of the Ascension)
  • When Lefty Killed Fatty! (Ehud)
  • When the load gets heavy (Matthew 11: 28-30)
  • You are what you eat – Communion sermon on Jesus as the Bread of Life (John 6)
  • You Better Be Humble…Or You Will Stumble (PRIDE) (I Peter 5:5-6) (C. Spurlock)
  • You Can’t Have Your Kate and Edith too (sermon on Adultery) (David A. Hall)
  • You Can’t Win If You Don’t Begin (David A. Hall)
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How much less are mere people, who are but worms in his sight? (Job 25:6)

A friend of mine often jokes that he’s certain half of his theology is wrong; he just doesn’t know which half. That’s true with most of us, though we don’t always like to admit it. And it’s certainly the case with Job’s three friends.

At the lowest point in his life, Job had to suffer the advice of three armchair theologians—Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. They’d been watching his plight from a distance and were certain they had his problems figured out. They weighed his situation, put their heads together, and approached Job with their solution to his quandary. It’s not as if they didn’t mean well. Their concern was genuine. But somehow their advice missed the mark. And God wasn’t too impressed with what they had to say, even though most of their advice was true—at least technically.

“God is powerful and dreadful,” says Bildad the Shuhite. “He enforces peace in the heavens. Who is able to count his heavenly army? … How can a mere mortal stand before God and claim to be righteous? … God is so glorious that even the moon and stars scarcely shine compared to him. How much less are mere people, who are but worms in his sight?” (Job 25:2-6).

You have to admit that Bildad had a point. God is glorious and all-powerful, and compared to him we might as well be worms writhing around in the dirt. But there is a fuller picture of God in Scripture.

“He will rescue the poor when they cry out to him,” writes the psalmist. “He will save them from oppression and from violence, for their lives are precious to him” (Psalm 72:12, 14). On the one hand, it is true that we are but maggots in comparison with God. On the other hand, didn’t he create us in his own image? He chose to breathe his Spirit into ours and bring us into his divine presence. We may be worms, but we’re not worms in God’s eyes. He sees us as precious children, and he loves us as he loves his own Son. Bildad may have only been half wrong, but the half that was wrong made all the difference.

Be careful when you decide to speak for God. Choose your words carefully when dishing out advice on behalf of the Savior. God doesn’t like it when we put words in his mouth.

Today’s Reading

Job 25:1-6

Reflection

How do you see yourself in the eyes of God? Is it comforting to know that you are precious in his sight?

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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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I recently read an article that states:gaymarriage_blogistan

“Government should get out of the marriage business. If the government had nothing to do with marriage, we could drop all the divisive issues about gay marriage, and just let people marry in whichever churches or other institutions will marry them.”

On the flip side, there are those who defend traditional marriage because of their religious beliefs.  They argue that gay marriage activists are attacking their religious beliefs and, as reported by Chuck Colson back in May, gay activists, are attacking from all angles. Here is what he said: … (more…)

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