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Everything posted by simplyrhetorical

  1. As a young boy, I was taught to respect my elders. I was instructed to never call my friends’ parents by their first name. Words like thank you, please, yes sir, no ma’am were normal gestures. In school, my teachers were the pitchers that poured water into my undeveloped mind, and as a result, I was taught to look up to them and submit unto their authority with obedience and thankfulness. Throughout my college and graduate years, I learned to accept individuals for who they were, and not judge them for what they believed. I was taught Biblically to love everyone, even the most undesirable
  2. One of the most difficult barriers for Christians to overcome is the struggle between the natural and spiritual man. Any person can believe the Scriptures and come to the knowledge of the saving work of Jesus Christ. They can take God’s Word and accept the reality of salvation through faith, and become a Christian. They can attach themselves to a body of Believers. They can submit to the preaching and teaching of the Word. They can learn to accept filtered Truth with no thought of Biblical checks and balances. They can evidence their commitment by faithfully attending religious services
  3. Dear Virginia, I know that you are excited about the Christmas season. But who would have ever thought that stores would be filled with Christmas decorations even before Halloween! Even the television and newspapers have put out the bait to lure the innocent buyer into their net of buying more than they can afford. Of course, people are enticed into thinking that with their “plastic” and “lay away” they can purchase anything that seems pleasant to the eyes, especially if it is a “good deal.” Well, enough of that reality. Let me tell you just a little about Thanksgiv
  4. Every day can be a learning experience. The more we learn, the better equipped we are to face the ever-changing challenges in life. I believe that God gives every Believer “pop quizzes” throughout their spiritual walk. The results of these tests will reveal either one’s understanding or lack of comprehension of Biblical truth. The majority of mistakes that Christians make are due to not doing their homework. When we make mistakes in life we are to learn from those misstep, so when a similar situation arises in our future we will know how to handle those challenges. Failing to learn from
  5. Why do Christians have a tendency to focus on the negatives? Why do Christians invoke their carnal nature to respond to the challenges of life? Why are we more concerned with searching the Scriptures for prophesies than seeking the revealed truth of who we are in Christ? Why are Believers so interested in what Satan is doing in the world, rather than seeing the potential of what God can do through us? Why are we so interested in resurrecting books that deal with end times? Why are we so enamored with modern-day prophets who spin rhetoric that moves us from facts to speculation?
  6. The dinner in the wilderness, which is recorded in all four Gospels, was a highly successful buffet that was held near Bethsaida in Northern Galilee. Even though the four Gospels have minor differences of the dinner, there is a continuity of truth that cannot be denied. Jesus and His disciples had left Capernaum to get away from the crowds, for many of them were exhausted from their recent commissioning. (Mark 6:30, 31) Finding their physical oasis, they spent time relaxing and reflecting on what they had accomplished over the past weeks. (Luke 9:10) But before their R&R cou
  7. The Apostle Paul recorded a Holy Spirit inspired personal revelation, that when he experienced spiritual, mental, or physical weakness, a miraculous transference took place within him. Instead of being overwhelmed by circumstances, he became a “super saint.” He became stronger than his challenges. His weakened faith gave way to a powerful release of trust in the Lord whom he served. On one occasion, he requested deliverance from a thorn in the flesh that had caused him to ask the Lord three times to have it removed. Jesus’ response was that His grace was sufficient for him and “that my st
  8. One of the most active influences on the Believers mind is what I call the “Rear View Syndrome.” It has over the years developed into a pandemic crisis. This virus has caused many Believers to limit their outreach. They have quarantined themselves by being more conscious of their past failures and shortcomings than God’s Grace and forgiveness. Some of the symptoms of RVS are, reactivation of past sins, exaggeration of failures, self-condemnation, unworthiness, and a low spiritual temperature, to name just a few. This virus originated from Satan and has spread worldwide. Christians have
  9. Encouragement is an active ingredient in the Christian’s daily walk. When one sees faith activated in the lives of other Believers, it awakens the courage and boldness to face the challenges in life. Horizontal encouragement offer opportunities to restart a weakened faith. For years, I have encouraged Christians to share their faith. When a battle is won, tell somebody! When obstacles are overcome, tell somebody! When the storms of life fall as the “Sonlight” rises in the individual, tell somebody! When circumstances are crushed by the faithful actions of the Believer, tell somebody! T
  10. For months our country has faced an attempted cultural and moral makeover. Foundational truths, from which this country made its world impact, have become the birthing center of a “new country order.” To make room for this movement, previous beliefs are being voided. History is being expunged. New academic agendas are being taught from the earliest level of learning to the leading universities. Nothing is off the table when it comes to establishing a new nation “under man.” Many Christians look at what is happening as a sign of the last days. They are looking up expecting Jesus’ return
  11. The entrance fee to the Kingdom of God is prepaid by Jesus Christ; the annual membership to the Kingdom costs you a total commitment of body, soul, and spirit. When you acknowledge that Jesus is your Savior, you must also confess that Jesus is your Lord! Actions must follow words for the “chemistry” of God’s Word to create a life-changing experience in a person’s life. So much of Christianity centers around the blessings that the Scriptures contain. It is a joy to experience the benefits contained in the Bible, but one must also be cognizant of the fact that there are some very
  12. So much of Christianity seems to center around benefits that can be discovered from Biblical exploration. The boundary between the spiritual and carnal has basically disappeared. Materialism has become a part of the Gospel. Many Christian leaders have made bold statements that Jesus spoke more about money than any other subject. If that is in fact true, His emphasis was not on receiving, but on giving. He did not emphasize supporting the local Synagogue or keeping the Temple and its rulers in a position of financial grandeur, but in fulfilling the needs of individuals. The taxing system
  13. Gabriel, the angelic messenger of God, was sent to deliver messages to two unsuspecting individuals. The first message was to a priest named Zacharias. For years he prayed that he and his wife would have a child. Finally, after decades of hopeful expectations, their hope ground to a halt. They realized that after passing the fertility age, as well as Elizabeth being declared barren, they would steadfastly continue serving God in whatever way they could. The Bible says they were truly a faithful example of followers of God. (Luke 1:6) Years after the impossible, the possible was manifeste
  14. What are people looking for when they want to find a home church? How important is the location and physical structure? What about doctrine and the Tenets of Faith? What role does the pastor play in their decision making process? What about the type of music? How about the recommendation of other people? What Christians display outside of the church will have a definite influence on prospective attendees. “Community watch” observes the actions of Christians in their neighborhood and form opinions based on the actions they observe. Believers play an important role in helping people deci
  15. Believers tend to ignore the issue of demons for many believe that these spiritual beings have little or no influence in the lives of Christians. Tragically with that display of Biblical ignorance we concede the advantage to Satan. Let me add to your correct statement, "...demons and devils can affect believers if they are not strong in their prayer life....as well as in their daily walk." Believers have authority over demonic spirits and that is through the name of Jesus! Thanks for sharing.
  16. I am surprised at how many Believers are oblivious to the workings of Satan’s Kingdom. We are so selectively involved with Scriptures which build faith and trust, that the verses which describe horizontal challenges lay neglected. Failing to understand spiritual warfare, especially when it is directed against the Body of Christ, can negatively affect the church. Sin within the assembly of Believers will destroy the effectiveness of the church quicker than almost anything else. What is even more shocking is when leadership detects sin in the church and does nothing about it. The “do not ro
  17. In this parable of the Unjust Steward, we see Jesus taking a very definite approach to addressing the difference between people of the world and those who belong to the Kingdom of God. Jesus pointed out that those who indulge themselves in the “mammon of unrighteousness” will always face the possibility of financial chaos. If and when that becomes a reality, ones pre-established relationship with other dishonest individuals will serve as an endless refuge for their failed endeavors. (Luke 16:9) Dishonesty will never lead to a successful life. It is like building on a “sandy” foundation.
  18. One of the teaching tools that Jesus used to illustrate His message was Parables. Jesus used this “story” technique at least 31 times in His ministry. Matthew recorded 11 of those verbal illustrations, while Mark recorded 2, followed by 18 in Luke. The word Parable is a combination of two words that mean to “throw alongside.” The question arises as to whether these short stories were actually true events or simply fictional experiences that were made up to illustrate a point. If Jesus dealt with absolute truth, why would He make up a fictional experience to compliment His teachings?
  19. When we fail to grasp and understand God’s will for our lives, inconsistencies and uncertainties will hinder our spiritual growth. I wonder how many Believers have taken time out from their busy life challenges to find out what God’s “perfect will” is for their lives. Many people read the Bible as if it were a textbook of learning for people that are searching for the truth. They go so far as to look at the Scriptures as an encyclopedia of spiritual knowledge that is open to anyone with an “inquiring mind.” When we approach the Bible in that manner, it becomes more and more imp
  20. Scriptural choice is the active exercise of picking and choosing verses that can be received with the least amount of resistance. In other words, Bible passages that can be digested with little or no discomfort are the accepted norm. When Scriptures expose weaknesses and flaws of the reader, they are quickly ignored or overlooked. If a Scripture seems too difficult to understand, it is passed over. Trying to understand why God would cause a “spirit of slumber” to come upon the Jewish people has caused many Christians to misunderstand God’s intent. (Romans 11:8) Why would God block His own
  21. I have noticed during our country’s multi-faceted challenges, that many people are having a hard time keeping a positive attitude. The waves of negativity continue to wash across our land. The riptides of anti-sentiments are threatening to challenge the very things we hold dear. People are spending more time reacting to the rhetoric of the “anti-authority” movements than they are to reinforcing their own moral and ethical standards. If people can be moved to abandon the principles of what they espouse, then it must be assumed they really don’t believe what they profess. Human nature is a
  22. Anti-Semitism in America is continuing to infiltrate the mindset of radical individuals who oppose anything that does not compliment their self-motivated agendas. As the tide of religious bigotry continues to spread, the once strong Christian movement has moved into the cross-hairs of the anti-God movement. It should come as no surprise to those of the “Book,” for the Scriptures speak of these “end time” activities. What is shocking is that the houses of worship are doing nothing to stem the tide of “spiritual euthanasia.” There is an attitude of turning the cheek, rather than standing up a
  23. Recently a pastor sent out a letter to his congregants requesting suggestions as to what topics his people would like to have him address on Sundays. Another church felt the necessity to highlight the recent racial divide in our nation. To address the issue, they brought in two individuals who represented an ethnicity different from those of their own congregation. They discussed issues that needed understanding and even correction. I guess the purpose of the interaction was to bring people out of their comfort zones and into the reality of racial division. It seems that there is such a q
  24. What role should Christians play in the shifting of moral and ethical behavior in America? The immediate response of “label” wearing Believers is to bend their knees and ask God to intercede. What that approach fails to take into consideration is that God has trained us to rely on His Word by acting on His Word. To ask God to do things He has authorized us to do shows Biblical ignorance. To claim Old Testament situations as a working model for today is a misunderstanding of Scriptural intent. To stand back and expect God to part our “Red Sea” or to stand before a problem and claim “the ba
  25. The Holy Spirit plays an important role in the life of the Believer. Without the Holy Spirit, there would be no awareness of the attributes of God and His involvement in the lives of individuals. The third person of the Trinity finds an entrance to the natural man, who was made in the image of God, (Genesis 1:26,27) through what we call the CONSCIENCE, which is becoming aware of the supernatural. We find people hidden away in obscure parts of the world that have come to the knowledge of a divine being. They are able to discern that, beyond their limited knowledge, there is an unidentifiab
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