Another blog entry that was lost and is now resurrected.
1 Timothy 4:7 But refuse profane and old-womanish tales, and exercise yourself to godliness.
I saw an inspirational story posted on a Christian forum that talked about a soldier hiding from the enemy in World War II. This soldier took refuge in a cave. He prayed to God and was hidden by a spider web.
This seems like a nice story, but it turns out to be a story from another religion, from their religious texts. That troubled me. To see a mythological event from a false religion find its way into the culture of English speaking Christians. Can a Christian find morality within a false religion? I don’t think one can. All other religions, if they have morals, are a pale shadow of Christ’s way, and those other religions lead to eternal death. Why bother getting moral stories from false religions when we have the perfect and true religion of following Jesus?
As the bible tells us, 1 Timothy 1:4 nor to give heed to fables and endless genealogies (which provide doubts rather than the nurture of God in faith). We should instead keep our eye on the Lord. To do as it says in Philippians 4:8-9 Finally, my brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, think on these things. Do those things which you have also learned and received and heard and seen in me. And the God of peace shall be with you.
An older blog post I once wrote, that disappeared on here. I thought it worth posting again ....
And the LORD said to Abram, Go out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house into a land that I will show you. And I will make you a great nation. And I will bless you and make your name great. And you shall be a blessing. And I will bless those that bless you and curse the one who curses you. And in you shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:1-3)
The headlines speak of the war in Gaza. The world is outraged. Israel dares to defend itself against the incessant bombing from Hamas. The world is demanding that the UN call an immediate ceasefire. All Israel wants is that Hamas stops bombing them. That isn’t too much to ask for. If a group bombed your country regularly, wouldn’t you demand your leaders stop them? Why is it everyone except Israel can defend itself?
The bible says that Israel is God’s chosen people. Through whom Jesus came. Through whom the Lord chose to reveal Himself. They need Jesus to be saved, no doubt there. He still regards them as His people though. We should not forget the root of Jesse. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and became a sharer of the root and the fatness of the olive tree with them, do not boast against the branches. But if you boast, it is not you that bears the root, but the root bears you. (Romans 11:17-18).
I support Israel’s right to defend itself against the terrorists of Hamas. I will bless Israel. We should all pray for Israel.
There were two news items in the media on the same day in my city. One was about a 30 ish year old man who was on a local highway when another man shot at him (among others). The victim was just grazed but the bullets caused his car to catch fire. He set up a gofundme page to pay for a new car.
The second article was about a 90ish year old World War II veteran who was scammed out of his life savings. He was of course upset but determined to go back to work to support himself.
There is a big difference in the mentality of both men. One was self-sufficient, ready to take care of himself. The other had an entitlement mentality and expected others to buy him a new car.
As Christians, which should we be?
2 Thessalonians 3
7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us. For we did not behave ourselves disorderly among you,
8 neither did we eat any man's bread freely, but we worked with labor and travail night and day, so that we might not be heavy on any of you
9 (not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example to you, to imitate us).
10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this, that if anyone would not work, neither should he eat.
11 For we hear that there are some who walk disorderly among you, not working at all, but being busybodies.
12 Now we command and exhort those who are such, by our Lord Jesus Christ, that they work with quietness and eat their own bread.
Today is Don Bolles Day in Arizona. This may not seem important to any of you but it is a memorable day in the history of journalism.
Don Bolles was an investigative reporter who was involved in uncovering a big story about a land deal, crooked politicians and possibly the mob. After getting a call to meet with a source, he headed out to the lobby of a local hotel. After waiting for a few minutes, he returned to his car. It blew up.
Bolles survived for a few days before succumbing to his injuries. I lived in Phoenix then, where this occurred, and I remember the news breaks about it.
Afterwards, reporters from across the nation came to Arizona. Nearly 40 journalists from 23 newspapers took vacation time, quit their jobs, or were given leaves of absence to freely investigate the story he was working on. Such an effort has not been seen before or since.
I remember this as the time journalism died. All you have to do is look at the state of journalism today to realize how low the media has sunk.
In a recent discussion, someone mentioned that he felt like a failure and cited reasons why.
That got me thinking. How does one define success?
The world defines it as having wealth, a good home, fancy car, and a good job. Perhaps even a college education to go along with it. Real success, according to the world, is having power and wealth.
By those standards, sure, that guy was not a success. But whose standard should we live by?
Matthew 16: 26 For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Matthew 6: 19-21 Do not lay up treasures on earth for yourselves, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up treasures in Heaven for yourselves, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
God sets a different standard. The things of this world that define success are meaningless. Success spiritually can be defined based on one thing only: our response to Jesus.
John 6: 28-29 Then they said to Him, What shall we do that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He has sent.
Are you successful?
There is an event coming up in one church, and probably many others, called Burn a Quran Day.
What a horrible idea.
I do not like the religion of islam. I think it is a false religion and one that will lead far too many away from the only Living Lord. I think its imperative to witness and gain them to Christ. Burning a quran is far too "in your face" and will only cause hard feelings.
What does the bible say about bringing people to Christ? Jesus gives us the Great Commission as show below. Furthermore Paul tells how he approaches each person on their level, to show them Jesus. Paul, as blunt as he is at times, does not seek to offend with anything other than the Gospel. Jesus also gave a great example of how to witness with the woman at the well. He spoke to her on her level and showed her His truth.
We should take our lessons from the bible on how to witness. Not from the world.
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority is given to Me in Heaven and in earth.
19 Therefore go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you. And, behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the world. Amen.
1 Corinthians 9
19 For though I am free from all, yet I have made myself servant to all, so that I might gain the more.
20 And to the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might gain the Jews. To those who are under the Law, I became as under the Law, so that I might gain those who are under the Law.
21 To those who are outside Law, I became as outside Law (not being outside law to God, but under the law to Christ), so that I might gain those who are outside Law.
22 To the weak I became as the weak, so that I might gain the weak. I am made all things to all men , so that I might by all means save some.
23 And this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I might be partaker of it with you .
6 And Jacob's well was there. Jesus, therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus upon the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, Give me to drink.
8 (For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.)
9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, How do you, being a Jew, ask a drink of me, who am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews do not associate with Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, Give Me to drink, you would have asked of Him, and He would have given you living water.
11 The woman said to Him, Sir, you have no vessel, and the well is deep. From where then do you have that living water?
12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself, and his children and his cattle?
13 Jesus answered and said to her, Whoever drinks of this water shall thirst again,
14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
15 The woman said to Him, Sir, give me this water, so that I may not thirst nor come here to draw.
16 Jesus said to her, Go, call your husband and come here.
17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said to her, You have well said, I have no husband
18 for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband. In that you spoke truly.
19 The woman said to Him, Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.
20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
21 Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you shall neither worship the Father in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem.
22 You worship what you do not know, we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.
23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to worship Him.
24 God is a spirit, and they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.
25 The woman said to Him, I know that Messiah is coming, who is called Christ. When He has come, He will tell us all things.
26 Jesus said to her, I AM, the One speaking to you.
27 And upon this His disciples came and marveled that He talked with the woman. However, no one said, What do You seek, or why do You talk with her?
28 The woman then left her waterpot and went into the city and said to the men,
29 Come see a man who told me all things that I ever did. Is this One not the Christ?
30 And they went out of the city and came to Him.
Puritans have gotten a bad rap throughout the ages but one thing they have going for them is their view of God. Have you ever read their writings? Or their prayers? They took God seriously.
For example, this Puritan prayer
Heavenly Father, if I should suffer need, and go unclothed, and be in poverty, make my heart prize Thy love, know it, be constrained by it, though I be denied all blessings. It is Thy mercy to afflict and try me with wants, for by these trials I see my sins, and desire severance from them. Let me willingly accept misery, sorrows, temptations, if I can thereby feel sin as the greatest evil, and be delivered from it with gratitude to Thee, acknowledging this as the highest testimony of Thy love.
They didnt demand stuff. All they wanted was to praise and appreciate anything that God gave them, trials or material things. Folks today would do well to emulate the Puritans. To count it for joy all trials, all deprivations. To praise Him in all things.