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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/02/2020 in Stories

  1. 1 point
    The most understandable and encouraging attribute concerning salvation is that of its permanency, after all, it is called “eternal salvation” (Heb 5:9). What part of salvation is temporary, seeing that one of the meanings of redemption is that of being saved from “eternal damnation” (Mar 3:29). Is it a sensible truism that one can be eternally saved and then not eternally saved? Thus being temporarily saved from “everlasting punishment” (Mat 25:46) is clearly a concept of an oxymoron?
  2. 1 point
    "And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'" [ Luke 15:5‭-‬6 ]
  3. 1 point
    The Nature of Christ “Though he was God he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges and took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8). As I was reading this, I was thinking, “How would I behave in this situation?” I would have been shooting lightning bolts at people and levitating them straight up off the earth that I created. We could not possibly control a position of such power. We would be completely overcome by it. Jesus, he did not selfishly grasp hold of the position he had like I would have. Instead, he was willing to give himself over to serving our needs. Maybe if Jesus would have behaved in a manner likewise, the Jewish leaders would not have been so infuriated with Him. He was claiming to be God but seemed as a weak little man. If Jesus would have blasted them with a lightning bolt or two, I am sure their minds would have quickly changed about Him. They probably would not have plotted to kill Him, but instead would have worshiped Him. But that is not the way God wants to gain our attention is it? Jesus set the example of what God is like – not a dictator, but a loving, serving, father. Jesus did something that is extremely hard for me to do. Verse 7, he emptied himself. He emptied himself of all self-interests. He came here to do one thing, and one thing only and that was the will of the Father. For God to become a man was extremely humbling, but he did not stop there. He completely took himself the extra mile and took the role of a servant. When Jesus came, we all should have fallen to our knees in complete worship and praise – our Lord is here. Instead, the Lord fell to his knees to serve us. The Creator served His very creation. Wow! Man, Oh man! A lot of days I ask myself, “How should I live as a Christian?” No better example of humiliation and a complete selfless attitude could possibly be given than that of Christ. That is the example the believers in Philippi were being encouraged to follow. That is the example we are encouraged to follow today. Verse 2 - be like minded – live humbly before God, and each other. God sent Jesus on a mission. This is His briefing – “1. That He should assume human nature by being born of a woman, and thus enter into temporal relations; and that He should assume this nature with its present infirmities, though without sin. 2. That He, who as the Son of God was superior to the law, should place Himself under the law; that He should enter, not merely into the natural, but also into the penal and federal relation to the law, in order to pay the penalty for sin and to merit everlasting life for the elect. 3. That He, after having merited forgiveness of sins and eternal life for His own, should apply to them the fruits of His merits: complete pardon, and the renewal of their lives through the powerful operation of the Holy Spirit. By doing this He would render it absolutely certain that believers would consecrate their lives to God” (Berkhof, L. (1938). Systematic theology (p. 269). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans publishing co). Jesus perfectly accomplished all these things that we could not. So, what is your response to this. What is your response to Him? Be Encouraged, Chris
  4. 1 point
    The Golden Rule “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite but love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18, NLT). What happens when someone does us wrong? We usually act out from our emotions. If we are hurting, we want to inflict that hurt upon the other person. Hurt people hurt people! Sometimes when we are upset, we do not even say anything to the other person. But we sure do tell everyone else. We talk about the problem behind their back and do you know what that does? It only makes the situation worse. This just leads to resentment and hatred. Since the 18th century the “Golden Rule” has commonly designated this ethical maxim. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. That sounds familiar. Probably because Jesus said this in Matthew 7:12. So, if you are treating someone poorly, you should think about this. Is this how you want to be treated in return? When someone is doing you wrong, it does not feel good does it? The natural consequence of harboring ill feelings and a grudge-bearing attitude is going to result in vengeance. You are going to do something that you will regret! The kind of love that is being discussed here means that a person is to forgive a neighbor’s wrongs as quickly as they would forgive themselves. It means you are to show others the same practical care that you show yourself! For me, that was a major problem. The care that I showed myself was alcohol and drug abuse. I had a poor view of my self-worth, and I treated myself like garbage. I am 36 years old and I am just now realizing this is why I have treated people so poorly throughout my life. This is why so many of my relationships have failed. This is why my relationship with God failed! Is this you too? How could I love and respect God if I could not love and respect myself? When God would tell me I was the apple of his eye, I would call him a liar. I will tell you what helped me to turn around. It was when I done someone horribly wrong, but yet they did not do me wrong. Instead, they showed me love, compassion, and forgiveness. It took that happening for me to see the love, compassion, and forgiveness that God had extended to me so many times. It took that for me to extend that same love, compassion, and forgiveness to myself! I am trying my best to live by Jesus’ example. I fail all the time, but Jesus did not! “He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God who always judges fairly” 1 Peter 2:23. If we repay evil with evil, we are putting ourselves in the place of God. And we are also sinning against the sinner! God is the only fair judge! Your job, my job, is to love. So start showing people how you want to be treated today. We all want and desire to be loved! Be Encouraged, Chris
  5. 1 point
    Ephesians 6:12 - For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. KJV Jul. 2, 2020 Jeremiah 17:9...The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it. KJV Last month, The Holy Spirit dropped the word Righteous in my Spirit. I asked Him what is it you want me say about “Righteous”? He told me to look at what is going on in my peoples heart, it is disturbing because too many are falling away from my moral right. Choosing to instead to follow the crowd. I asked Him about the message for this month, He led me to the 17th chapter of Jeremiah which deals with two kinds of people...the wicked and the righteous. Jeremiah was warning the people about their sin even though they had the Law, prophets of God and history filled with God’s miracles. Just like us today. He said in verse 9...the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. When the Bible speaks of the heart, it is not talking about the one that pumps blood through our body...It is our mind. It is amazing how we allow our minds to consider everything contrary to God’s Word. Sin is what the Bible calls it and that is exactly what it is. The comparison between the wicked and righteous begins in verse 5...Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusts in man and not Me. We know the evil in man goes back to Genesis and by the time we get to Genesis Chapter 6 verse 5 we find out what God's penalty will be...And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6...And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7...And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repent me that I have made them. The stain of man’s evil was so devastating to God that everything paid for it. The animals, birds and beasts ...everything God said was good when He created it, paid the price of death and they had nothing to do with man’s evil. There was however redemption and it is in verse 8....But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. He was not perfect but verse 9 say’s...he was a just man and he walked with God. Biblically, the contrast between the Righteous and wickedness can be found primarily in Proverbs. The Righteous are hopeful., the wicked are fearful Proverbs 10:24...The Righteous are concerned about the welfare of God’s creation, the wicked’s kindness is cruel, Proverbs 12:10. The righteous are showered with blessings, the wicked are covered in violence Proverbs 10:8. The Righteous understand justice, the wicked do not, Proverbs 28:5. The Righteous seek out the honest, the wicked hate the honest...Proverbs 29:10...The Righteous care for the poor, the wicked are unconcerned about the poor...Proverbs 29:7...The Righteous are bold as lions, the wicked fear constantly...Proverbs 28:1...The Righteous are protected by God, the wicked are destroyed by God...Proverbs 10:29...The Righteous have a refuge when they die, the wicked are crushed by their sins...Proverbs 14:32… Man will trust in other men, military, business and other entities he created, for their success as they see it but the Righteous have faith in God. They are called the underdogs, the ones struggling to get by, the ones who are crazy with this faith in God thing but in reality they have the peace that surpasses all understanding which is only found in God. God has stopped the world with Covid 19 yet many want to diminish it’s severity in peoples lives. The evidence of God’s hand in this is the fact the atmosphere has been cleansed, the land has been restored, the waters are cleaner, families have spent more time together and those who recognize God’s work have given Him their Praise and Worship. Gas was under $1.00 per gallon and we had nowhere to go. Then He sent a dust cloud formed in the African desert, across the oceans taking the same path hurricanes do that has hit the United States creating a breathing issue. Most recently flooding in the south and many still refuse to recognize Him sending His message to us. It is amazing to me that due to the death of George Floyd, not only have the Righteous in America taken a stand against evil but people from all over the world are standing with those marching and not one person has contracted or been affected by the virus. We have seen the huge throng of people but they have had Divine Protection. There will be a price to pay, we will reap what we sow...Galations 6:7-9... Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8...For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9...And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10... As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. In the final analysis the questions will be...Whose side will you be on? Mark 2:17 - When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Paul wrote in in his letter to the Philippians Chapter 1:9...And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10...That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11...Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. The Apostle John, The Beloved Disciple whom Jesus loved wrote in 1st John 2:1 & 2...My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2...And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. My brothers and sisters. I will be praying for your strength and determination to follow God's call to righteousness...though it may be difficult, walk away from the crowd who chooses not believe. Thank You Lord for Your Word.
  6. 1 point
    One of the greatest experiences in life is love. Everyone seeks love for it, comforts the heart and soothe the soul. Yet, hate exists and some folks enjoy inflicting its venomous poison onto others. Hate is troublesome because of its negative impact on the human spirit. Why is that? Because it’s an effective sin, Satan uses to turn humans away from God. Remember, God removed Lucifer from heaven (Isaiah 14:12-13) and he uses hate to avenge his judgement. I think you’ll agree with me when I say the devil’s clever ways; he uses hate are cunning. For example, Satan uses racism to manifest hate between ethnic groups. The devil creates a hostile environment between cultures leading to death and destruction. Other illustrations of hate are envy, abortion, and self-hatred. Those sinful actions corrupt the soul, harden the heart, and lead to a life headed for eternal damnation. Some people commit suicide to stop the constant internal strife they experience. Both the New and Old Testament heightens God’s opposition to hates unfavorable existence. And when Christ roamed the earth, He exposed the world’s hate towards God (John 15:18-25). I can almost hear you thinking nothing good comes from hate. Yes, hate breeds resentment, bitterness and causes physical harm to others. It’s a way evil doer provoke wicked action. A point often overlooked is hate leaves behind a trail of physical, mental devastation. With this in mind, the devil works hard to twist the reality of Christ and he can’t tolerate us embracing God’s love (James 4:6). How do I know? From personal experience. Before God saved me, I was a drunkard and full of self-hatred. I wanted to die. As a matter of fact, I attempted suicide but the Lord protected me from physical death. His love for me stopped the devil’s plan to kill me. And for that I’m forever grateful for His affection. As shown above hate separates us from Jesus Deity. What’s the solution? God’s love! Here’s something we both can agree on is nothing the world offers matches our Father’s love. His love gave Adam and Eve a second chance (Genesis 3:22). And because He loved them His grace is extended to us today. How exceptional is that? As if that’s not enough He sacrificed His Son Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin. This selfless display of His love shows He wants to save humanity from the evil one. Amazing isn’t it? In fact, love is God’s greatest commandment to mankind (Matthew 22:37-38). Love comes from God. Once a person receives His affection a spiritual transformation takes root and the individual’s heart purifies. This supernatural conversion leads a person to extend this incredible love to others. For, loving others is God’s second greatest commandment (Matthew 22:39). Here’s the interesting part God’s love radiates through us showing those around us His powerful presence. As the result of His comfort we are able to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48). The best part is love prevails over sin (1 Peter 4:8). Given these points we know our Father’s love is divine, pure with an eternal destination of heaven! How do you love?
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