Imagine This

Imagine This: a peaceful world of plenty without evil.

Surrounded – images from pixabay.com

Revelation 21:1-27 ESV

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” …

Cornucopia – images from pixabay.com

This was a longer segment of scripture than I usually post because it  describes something so wonderful to long for one small excerpt. We can do more than speculate since we have Faith; the verses suggest a wonderful place for believers*.

*Romans 10:9 ESV

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

SINCE WE ARE NEW CREATIONS IN Christ it is fitting that we should have a place in this new world and heaven to come.

2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

Butterfly – images from pixabay.com

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.







SONG: Sara Sadler

I Am A New Creation – Dave Bilbrough (C) Thankyou Music


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A Dark Pessimistic Theory

A Dark Pessimistic Theory

Scorched Earth

NOTE: all images from pixabay. com unless noted otherwise.

 

 

Self imposed population control: drug and alcohol abuse, suicide, risky behavior, abortion, infanticide, genocide and assisted  suicide. Without trust in GOD all these thing can be twisted to convince people they serve humanity by allowing a better life for the survivors: more living space, more food, more things . . . . etc. Historically this reminds me of the 1930’s and 1940’s on our planet. What does GOD say?

 

1 Timothy 2:3-4 ESV

This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Apocalypse

This morning I read a blog post that explained that many streams, rivers and lakes have become unsafe to swim in (let alone drink) because lazy or cheap vacationers with campers discharge the waste from their toilets in to these waters. One comment suggested they may also let it drain as the drive along a highway. This is selfish abuse and sin. No respect for others or our planet. GOD indicated to use what we need and not abuse and waste the rest. Getting pleasure from destructive practices (killing for pleasure) is Sin.

This is more than a spiritual truth.

A person must be alive in order accept Christ and gain eternal life. To live means food, air, water, safety, good health . . . .etc. Harvest and slaughter only what is needed for food.

2 Peter 3:9 ESV

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.        

Do not scoff and be deceived: GOD will judge all.

Revelation
Judgement

2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

Christ in Majesty Florence – free-images.com

Song:JUDGEMENT DAY OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO

ANAELE CHIEDOZIE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQZ4sDj3VC4

 


Song: Christian Rap

 


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Honor GOD 5 Wisdom

Honor GOD 5 Wisdom

Wisdom not Perfection

OK some people these days consider the Bible a great piece of literature, a collection of myths and a source of wisdom – perhaps some consider it all the above. As a Christian I know it is GOD’S Word. The literature, history and wisdom built in.  Before I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior I read The Book of Proverbs. I was so impressed the awe never left me.  Humans have several secular sources of wisdom and their own practical wisdom earned from experience but, GOD presents aspects humans typically do not develop on their own – especially when GOD’S Word is taken in aggregate.  

The Wisemen

Proverbs 1:7 ESV

Wisdom with Age

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Where does wisdom come from?

James 1:5 ESV

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

I often say only a systematic study of GOD’S word can yield the greatest meaning to a person. The subtleties and nuances corroborated from one part of scripture to another offer flexible understanding (not legalistic rigidity). We are individuals living our individual lives in the present time that is our time. If you read about the early Church you will see that the apostles were individuals offering insight, knowledge and wisdom to the early believers – and even us today. Only a true believer’s knowledge complemented with wisdom  can guard against apostasy and antichrists.

Beware of false teachers

1 Timothy 4:1 ESV

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,

 


SONG: The official video for Keith and Kristyn Getty’s song “The Perfect Wisdom Of Our God” off
their album “Hymns For The Christian Life.” 


God-Man-Sin-Death-Christ-Cross-Faith-Life https://www.goodsoil.com/blog/eight-words-summarize-the-bibles-big-story/


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Honor GOD 4 Respect for Creation

Honor GOD 4 Respect for Creation

GOD deemed creation good after each step:

Genesis 1:1-31 ESV

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. …

Surely you know the stories in Genesis

GOD declared humans “GOOD”; I cannot believe the Heavenly beings were no less “GOOD”. So why “fallen angels  lead by Satan”, and why did Adam and Eve sin? Free Will. GOD granted all a choice: what kind of worthiness of worship would GOD receive if it were forced?

Respecting others is only a start:

Genesis 2:15 ESV

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

It really takes an in depth study of the Bible the understand what GOD expects from us as stewards, here is a clue (please undertake the deeper study):

Isaiah 24:5 ESV

The earth lies defiled under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant.
Please think twice before you waste, defile, or destroy any part of GOD’s Creation; we are to make use of it not abuse it.


God-Man-Sin-Death-Christ-Cross-Faith-Life

https://www.goodsoil.com/blog/eight-words-summarize-the-bibles-big-story/


SONG: Stewardship VLKam860 Published on May 21, 2011
https://youtu.be/hvVrY_SFOhY

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Honor GOD 2 Moral Issues

Honor God 2 Moral Issues

Still Soverign

Note: all images pixabay.com unless noted otherwise

The Standard of GOD

‘”The Law of GOD” is archaic, unrealistic, inhibits my freedom and is childish.’ If this is what you think you are not a Christian. You cannot claim Christ and shun GOD at the same time. While Jesus Christ fulfilled the penalty for all sin (even ours) His sacrifice did not abolish The Law. Cultural and language distortions have confused people (especially modern people) but GOD has not changed: The Holy Character of GOD remains intact.

Compass

You honor GOD by living by the moral standard that is revealed in the Bible.

Do not disregard a clean life and responsible stewardship in all things for these things please and honor GOD.

Matthew 5:17 ESV 

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.   (Jesus)  

Decide
GOD is Holy and the standard by which holiness is judged.

1 Peter 1:16 ESV

Since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Understanding our position with respect to GOD

Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

More than Ethics

Therefore we honor GOD when we conform to what GOD requires; it is not for our own pleasure that we exist.


SONG:  When I Look Into Your Holiness

Song: Holy Holy Holy Lord God Almighty – Hymn (Lyrics) – LATRIA worship songs

 

 


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Honor GOD 1 The First Commandments

Happy Fourth of July

Honor GOD 1 The Greatest Commandment

Creation – images from pixabay.com

Matthew 22:36-38 ESV

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.


NOTE: Various religious traditions list the ten commandments in different order; if that is important to you visit this link:  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments


The first four are about the relationship GOD has with humans (us) and we with GOD (summed up in The Greatest Commandment above):

Ten Commandments – images from pixabay.com
Exodus 20:1-17 ESV

And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. (edits by me)
 
  1. You shall have no other gods before me.
  2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. . . .
  3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. . . . .

You will note that these four edicts are directly coming from GOD.

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Moses receiving the Ten Commandments” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 17, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/b0d728c0-e148-0132-1904-58d385a7bbd0

Most examples of attempted human interaction with a god is people trying to get the attention of a god or gods. The one true GOD came to us because we are unable to  approach a holy GOD and there is nothing in and of our selves that can please GOD without GOD assisting us: The guidance found in The Word of GOD is our guide.    

Matthew 15:8-9 ESV

“‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

Do not worship falsely or with an empty heart.

Accept Jesus in your heart

Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.




When we obey GOD, follow The Word of GOD we HONOR GOD: This does not erase our sin nature (accepting Jesus can only do that); works cannot save us – but it honors GOD when we do good; Worship and Praise Honors GOD but does not save us. When we please GOD we honor GOD. As a Christian Honoring GOD gathers rewards in heaven.


SONG: For The Honor | Live | Elevation Worship

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiI0xHAonxY


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Prayer

At the Cross – image pixabay.com

Let us Pray

Our local church is a praying church: we meet to pray, alert one another to new prayer requests and keep an extensive prayer list updated weekly. Prayer is a vital part of who we are.

Jesus prayed and taught others to pray:

Matthew 6:9-13 ESV

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.


From QUORA.com

“The word “prayer” is mentioned 132 times in the Bible (KJV) in the following verses: 2 Samuel 7:27. 1 Kings 8:28 (twice)Nov 30, 2018”


PRAYERS OF JESUS:

       https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayers_of_Jesus


GOD’s Word – image pixabay.com

 

– image pixabay.com
Famous Hands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


SONG:”When We Pray” – Tauren Wells (Lyrics)

 

https://youtu.be/GlGuh-zT84Q


Another reference about praying: https://jesusalive.cc/ques204.htm


Coming in July: Honoring GOD


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Dreams, Visions and Voices

Dreams, Visions and Voices

Holy Spirit as a Dove – image pixabay.com

SONG: Twila Paris – I Will Listen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUnk1td2sQU


General revelation (creation) suggests to most people GOD as the creator. The Bible Christians use is a special form of revelation:
Inspired Scripture – image pixabay.com
1) Holy Spirit inspired writings,
2) GOD generated visions and dreams,
3) Angelic visitation and,
4) GOD’s spoken voice. 
Let us look at an example of each:

1) Holy Spirit

John 14:26 ESV

Holy Spirit as a Dove – image pixabay.com

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

2) GOD generated visions and dreams

Genesis 37:5-8 ESV

Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library. “Full-page miniature with four scenes” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 17, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-e9b4-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library. “Small miniature of John and full-page miniature of the First Vision” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 17, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-eca0-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. He said to them, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed: Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

Acts 16:9 ESV

Apostle Paul – image from pixabay.com
And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

3) Angelic visitation

Luke 1:19 ESV

And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.
Angelic Visitation – image pixabay.com

4) GOD’s spoken voice

 

1 Samuel 3:10 ESV

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Moses receiving the Ten Commandments” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 17, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/b0d728c0-e148-0132-1904-58d385a7bbd0
And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”

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Why the Fisherman, Sinners and Tax Collectors

Why the Fisherman?

The-Fishermen – image pixabay.com

Jesus was not starting a new religion, he came to lead the Hebrews back to GOD. All the people of Jewish hierarchy  were well in trenched in the dogma they established and perpetuated.

Fisherman – images from pixabay.com

Most of the augmented law of  The Pentateuch had been corrupted to benefit the religious and secular Jewish leaders. The Jewish fisherman and other laymen understood “The Law” and traditions but were open to what a new Rabi (Jesus) had to say.

Matthew 23:1-39 ESV

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, …

Sinners and Tax Collectors?

Matthew 9:11 ESV

And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Mark 2:17 ESV

And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Jews Seek to Attack Jesus The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The Jews Seek to Stone Jesus” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 10, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/6728e710-a397-0134-6963-00505686a51c

OK John the Baptist offered a way for the Jews to repent and regain favor with GOD and apparently most rejected him. Jesus came to offer the same to all the Jewish people but it seems only sinners and tax collectors heard and obeyed. Only a very few leaders responded as Nicodemus had. Eventually the hardened hearts resulted in the Crucifixion of Jesus and the offer of salvation to all people (including Gentiles).

 

 

 

 


SONG: Open the Eyes of My Heart by Michael W. Smith, lyrics included.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idQ1n3cdgfo

 


Acts 28:28 ESV

Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”


Jerusalem – image pixabay.com

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Evil Redux

Evil Redux

About Evil – image pixabay.com
Evil Personified – image pixabay.com

Yes I wrote about evil before however, I thought it worthwhile to reiterate aspects of this seemingly ubiquitous aspect of life. If we just focus on The Ten Commandments and select those that instill an immediate threat to humans we should gain a bit more insight concerning evil. So, if I avoid debating social or cultural dilemmas head on cool heads may allow why sin is the source of evil. When GOD created the Heavenly Hosts they misused their Free Will as humans eventually had done later on when they were created. Satan and his demonic supporters fell from grace and influenced, and still influence, humanity: tempting us to give in to our sin nature thus perpetuating the influences of evil upon our world.

Isaiah 5:20 ESV

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Self defense,  defending good, defending your family may lead to killing because there is little choice; possibly self sacrifice if it can do good is possible, but:

Ten Commandments – images from pixabay.com

Exodus 20:13 ESV

“You shall not murder.

Rather than go through every possibility in a short blog I will point out how  two more sins cause evil to linger on the Earth.

1. Untruth: lies, omission, deception, manipulation . . . These cause the innocent harm; rob the innocent of what is theirs; encourages and enables a perpetrator to continue in these sinful ways.   2. Greed: How much does a person really need of anything? If a selfish person acts greedily innocent people loose out: food, clothing, healthcare, . . . . . employment doing honorable work.  

Left Out of Prosperity – image pixabay.com
There is no such thing as a victimless crime according to the Laws of GOD. Jesus paid for sin and fulfilled the penalty for sinning but He did not do away with GOD’s standards and definition for sin.
Our Hope – image pixabay.com
Accept Jesus’ sacrifice and gain eternal life.

SONG: I WILL FEAR NO EVIL / Worship Song by Pastor Daryl K Williams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8ChhXg8E-k  


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