Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Susan from Pittsburgh

The year is 2016 and the United States has just elected the first woman president, who happens to be from Pittsburgh. A few days after the election the president-elect, whose name is Susan, calls her Father and says, ‘So, Dad, I assume you will be coming to my inauguration?’ ‘

I don’t think so. It’s an 8 hour drive.” ‘

Don’t worry about it Dad, I’ll send Air Force One. And a limousine will pick you up at your door.’ ‘

I don’t know. Everybody will be so fancy. What would your mother wear?’

Oh Dad,” replies Susan, ‘I’ll make sure she has a wonderful gown custom-made by the best designer in Washington ..’

 ‘Honey,’ Dad complains, ‘you know I can’t eat those rich foods you eat.’

The President-to-be responds, ‘Don’t worry Dad. The entire affair will be handled by the best caterer in Washington , I’ll ensure your meals are salt free. You and mom just have to be there.’

So Dad reluctantly agrees and on January 20, 2017, Susan is being sworn in as President of the United States . In the front row sits the new president’s Dad and Mom. Dad noticing the senator sitting next to him leans over and whispers, ‘You see that woman over there with her hand on the Bible, becoming President of the United States .’ The Senator whispers back, ‘You bet I do.’

Dad says proudly, “Her brother played football for the Steelers.”

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July 30, 2010 Posted by | A Merry Heart | Comments Off on Susan from Pittsburgh

Fellowship, Not a Luxury

Fellowship with God is not just a luxury, a take-it-or-leave-it experience, that I can tack on to my life as a Christian if I wish.  It is as essential to my soul as water is to my body.  I must have His constant presence in my life, or I think I would die. I would have nothing for which to live. David had that desire for fellowship with God as he wrote Psalm 42. Would you take a few minutes to read it and meditate on it and then continue with this study?

When David wrote this Psalm he was removed from the public worship of God with the others.  Perhaps he was sick or perhaps he was running for his life from his enemies, chief of which was King Saul.

He starts out in verse 1 by likening his famished condition to a deer running through the fields panting for a drink of water from a stream.  To pant after God is to  desperately long for a life of holiness and constant fellowship with Him.  It is, as Jesus described in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:6, “To hunger and thirst after God’s righteousness” because we cannot bear to continue in a life of sin after we are saved.  His promise is that the one who hungers and thirsts after God’s righteousness will be given that desire of his heart.

No, we will never attain perfection in this life,  I John 1:8-10 teaches us. Nevertheless, we can long after it and spend much time in the Word of God, obeying whatever He teaches us and confessing any sin of which we are aware.

In verse 2 he further defines his desire to know God personally and intimately.   He desires to know the living God,  An objective, factual, academic knowledge of the Bible is important, but it is not enough.  Beyond that knowledge, he craves a life-changing personal relationship with God; a life-changing reality of daily walking with God, as Abraham and Enoch and other  Old Testament saints who were known for their walk with God. He refuses and we ought to refuse to settle for anything less that that.

Empty religion can never satisfy; whether it be a formal worship experience or a highly-charged, emotional experience that majors on good feelings and minors on Bible knowledge.  Nor can we be satisfied with a mind-numbing,  euphoria of a “praise and worship experience” that blasts our ear drums and makes us feel good about ourselves because it is free of Bible preaching that confronts us with our sins and brings feelings of guilt. Only as God shows us our sins, can we confess our sins to God and find immediate cleansing and freedom from a guilty conscience.   I’ve made it a practice throughout my 68 years as a Christian to always confess my sins to God as soon as I am aware of them.  Because of that I live a guilt-free life.   You can do the same thing.

Verse three tells us that David was a man of tears:  not selfish tears because he could not have his own way;  but tears of sorrow for his sins. Jesus spoke of  the need of such sorrow in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”  Do you weep over your sins and over the mess you have made of your life and the pain you have caused others?   If  you come to God in such sorrow, He promises to bless and comfort you and turn your life around and make you a blessing to others; rather than a burden to others.

In verse 4 David recalls happier days of the past when he joined others in united worship of God.  How do you feel about going to church.  Are you glad for any excuse to miss church and the united worship of God’s people and hearing the preaching of God’s Word?   Or are you glad for every opportunity to join with others in worship?

Are you struggling today with discouragement and despair?  It’s not easy to worship God is such a state, is it?   But even in the midst of your despair, praise God that He’s going to bring you through this, as David said in Psalm 30:5  “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”   So David encourages us in Psalm 42:5, to hope in God for He is going to bring you through your difficult time.

David encourages himself by talking  to himself and to God  in the last six verses of this chapter, reminding himself of the blessings of the past and with hope for his future.

Wherever you are in your life’s journey, my prayer for you, my unknown friend and reader of these words,  is that God will pull you out of your spiritual slump and get you back on the road of God’s will for your life so you can bring glory to Him and God’s richest blessings on yourself; and through you, bring blessing to others.

July 27, 2010 Posted by | Fellowship | Comments Off on Fellowship, Not a Luxury

Foundational Truth

According to Romans 10:9-10 Christ’s Death and  Resurrection are  the foundational truths of salvation.  There is no salvation apart from trusting in Christ, who shed His blood for our sins and rose from the dead for our justification.

The  Resurrection is the heart of Christianity pumping life into the believer.

It motivates us to serve Christ and sacrifice for Him.

Christianity stands or falls on this fundamental doctrine.  If Jesus did not die on the cross and shed His blood for our sins and if He did not rise from the dead on the third day, then Christianity Is just another vain, empty, impotent, worthless human philosophy, not worthy of your consideration and I am a fool for having spent my life as a preacher.  I Corinthians 15:14-19

The Resurrection gives purpose for living and courage to martyrs for Christ

In this study we will consider:

1. Two testimonies to the Resurrection

2. Examine prophecies and types of the Resurrection.

3. And note  five major doctrines of the Christian Faith based on Christ’s Resurrection.

I. TESTIMONIES TO THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST

 

1. The Testimony of Christ’s Church

 

The first testimony to the resurrection of Christ is the existence of the church, in spite of vicious attacks and persecution  for over two thousand years.  Jesus said in Matthew 16:15-18 that upon this ROCK, the doctrine of Christ,  He would build His Church and the powers of hell could not stop her progress.

Since Christ rose from the dead  on that first day of the week, the Church has continued to meet for worship and Biblical instruction  on Sundays from the beginning. 

When we baptize, we immerse in water, picturing our burial with Christ and we are raised from the water, signifying our rising to new life with Christ.  Baptism is a picture of what has already taken place in the heart of a believer.  

Victorious Christian living is an ongoing testimony to the power of Christ’s resurrection in our lives.  Read Romans 6-8 for more explanation of this.

2. The Testimony of  the Bible

 

The Scriptural records of Christ Resurrection  are objective testimonies of the truth of the Resurrection.   Recorded in the four Gospels,  the facts of the Resurrection were foretold in the Old Testament Scriptures. Consider the Old Testament prophecies and types of the Resurrection.

II. PROPHECIES AND TYPES

Read Hebrews 11:17-19 with Genesis 22:1-14. These passages speak of Abraham as having  received his son, Isaac,  back from the dead  after offering to kill him in obedience to God’ Word. Of course, God did not allow Abraham to go through with this, but instead provided a substitute sacrifice, a ram caught in the thicket. The point is that it was like a resurrection from the dead, as far as Abraham was concerned. Isaac’s resurrection was a type of the literal resurrection of Jesus  from the dead.

Another type of The Resurrection is that of the nation Israel, presently spiritually dead, dispersed and scattered among the nations of the world. Ezekiel  36-39  and Zechariah 12-14 are some of the most outstanding Old Testament chapters describing the spiritual resurrection (conversion to Christ) of Israel in the latter days.  Already, Israel is coming to spiritual life as many Jews are recognizing Jesus as their Messiah and trusting Him for salvation.

Hosea 6:1-3  is an exciting passage giving us a clear hint as to what is taking place in the world today as far as Israel is concerned.  With a day as a one thousand years and a thousand years as one day (II Peter 3:8)  in the mind of God, we may not be too far from the end of time as we know it.

In Job 19:25-27 Job gives exciting information concerning Christ’s resurrection and our bodily resurrection. Psalm 16:10  and 17:15 clearly prophesy the resurrection of Christ.

Jesus, in Matthew 12:38-40  refers to Jonah 1:17,  teaching us that as Job was three days and three nights in the fish’s belly and then thrown up alive on shore; so Jesus would be three days and three nights in the tomb before He would appear alive to many witnesses.    Go to category PASSION WEEK and read, Jesus, Our Passover Lamb, for further explanation of this prophecy.

Jesus, when dealing with His Disciples, repeatedly referred to His coming death and resurrection.  See Matthew 12:38-40, 17:9, 20:18-19,  Luke 9:20-22, John 5:25-29 and  11:25-26.  Yet their minds were closed to the fact for a few hours, even after Jesus had risen from the dead.

III. DOCTRINES BASED ON THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST

 

1. The Resurrection of Christ proves the Deity of Jesus.  Romans 1:4

If Jesus rose from the dead, you can be sure that Jesus is God and what He says is true.

 

2. His Resurrection is the basis for our Justification.  Romans  4:25

If Jesus died on the cross for sin and arose from the dead bodily, then if your trust is in Jesus, you stand justified. That is, you stand in the righteousness of Jesus and you can be certain of Heaven.

 

3. His Resurrection is the basis for our Sanctification. Romans 6:1-5

If Jesus rose from the dead and you are trusting Him, you stand in the resurrection power of Jesus and do not need to be defeated by sin.  I didn’t say you were perfect.  None of us are perfect on this earth; but as a Christian you have the power to live victoriously over sin.

 

4. His Resurrection is the guarantee of our Glorification. Romans 8:11

You can be sure that one day you will be in His presence sinlessly perfect, but not until then.

 

5. His Resurrection insures Divine Judgment  Acts 17:29-34

Because Jesus rose from the dead, you have a judgment date set with God. If you have never been saved, there is no way you can avoid that date.  You will give an account of your life to God and attempt to give Him your reasons for rejecting Him.  The Bible says you will stand silent before Him unable to speak.

On the other hand, if your trust is in Christ as your Saviour, your judgment is past.  Jesus bore it on the cross.  You will never be judged for your sins.

 

Christianity, including these five doctrines, stands or falls on the Resurrection of Jesus.  If Jesus never rose from the dead, you can count on utter, eternal oblivion when you die.  It’s all over.

If, on the other hand, Jesus DID really rise from the dead,  you had better get this matter with Christ settled quickly.  You have no guarantee of another day to think about it.  Get it settled now.  Receive Him or reject Him;  but you cannot ignore Him!

I’ve given you objective evidence from the reliable, inspired Word of God, the Bible; evidence based outside of you.  This evidence has nothing to do with how you feel about the matter. 

If you are a Christian, you have not only objective evidence from the Bible, but subjective evidence from within your heart.  You know He is alive because He walks and talks with you; but that is something you will never experience until you have taken God at His Word.  Read and believe the infallible, inspired Word of God and settle the matter now.

Finish reading these messages under RESURRECTION  and then go to the category SALVATION  and settle this matter before you go to sleep tonight.   This is a matter of life and death.   Eternal Life and eternal death!

 

July 18, 2010 Posted by | Resurrection | Comments Off on Foundational Truth

Tough Teacher

A former Sergeant, having served his time with the Marine Corps, took a new job as a school teacher; but just before the school year started he injured his back.  
He was required to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body. Fortunately, the cast fit under his shirt and wasn’t noticeable. On the first day of class, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in the school.
The smart-alecky punks, having already heard the new teacher was a former Marine, were leery of him and decided to see how tough he really was, before trying any pranks. Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, the new teacher opened the window wide and sat down at his desk.
When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he picked up a stapler and promptly stapled the tie to his chest.
…..Dead silence… He had no trouble with discipline that year.

July 10, 2010 Posted by | A Merry Heart | Comments Off on Tough Teacher

The Shack

Recently a loved one asked me to read the popular best seller, The Shack, I have tried over and over again to get through the book. I finally got through reading it about a week ago. For me it was a very uncomfortable experience.

I certainly don’t judge anyone as evil for reading it. I just think it is a dangerous book in that it is a human attempt to remake God “politically correct” and “relevant”

I felt very uncomfortable as though I was reading blasphemy, making God into our own image.

It’s right for God to make man in His own image for He is God. Gen. 1:26
But it is sacrilegious for man to make God in his image. Exodus 20:1-5,
It’s not only sacrilegious, but dangerous. Romans 1:18-32

That’s my major problem with the book.

For a fair and objective review of The Shack check out this link.

http://www.challies.com/articles/the-shack-by-william-p-young

July 10, 2010 Posted by | Deception Series | Comments Off on The Shack

Charles Spurgeon

An American tourist visiting England in 1888, preparing to sail home the next week, took his last long awaited opportunity to hear the famous Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s preach in his church.

Upon arriving just before the service began, he was deeply disappointed to find the church packed with no room for him.  An usher noting his disappointment as he was turning to walk away, leaned of his desire and  led him to the front of the auditorium to an empty seat in the first row.

After the service was over, as the tourist was leaving the church,  the usher found him again and asked him what he thought of his pastor, Spurgeon.

The tourist replied.  “I didn’t see Spurgeon.  I only saw Jesus.”

July 9, 2010 Posted by | Gems | Comments Off on Charles Spurgeon

Apathy

“Everywhere there is apathy. Nobody cares whether that which is preached is true or false.  A sermon is a sermon whatever the subject.”     Charles Haddon Spurgeon

July 8, 2010 Posted by | Gems | Comments Off on Apathy

When a Woman Speaks

A man asked his wife what she’d like for her 40th birthday. “I’d love to be six again,” she replied. On the morning of her birthday, he got her up bright and early and off they went to a local theme park. What a day! He put her on every ride in the park: the Death Slide, the Screaming Loop, the Wall of Fear, everything there was! Wow! Five hours later she staggered out of the theme park, her head reeling and her stomach upside down. Right to a McDonald’s they went, where her husband ordered her a Happy Meal along with extra fries and a refreshing chocolate shake. Then, it was off to a movie – the latest Disney and what a fabulous adventure!

Finally, she wobbled home with her husband and collapsed into bed. He leaned over and lovingly asked, “Well, dear, what was it like being six again?” One eye opened. “You idiot, I meant my dress size.” The moral of this story is: When a woman speaks and a man is actually listening, he will still get it wrong.


July 7, 2010 Posted by | A Merry Heart | Comments Off on When a Woman Speaks

Refusing to worship God

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.” ~CS Lewis

July 7, 2010 Posted by | Gems | Comments Off on Refusing to worship God