Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Are You Growing in Christian Character?

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3.)

Oh beloved Father! Knowing you makes everything wonderful and gives me a peace beyond all understanding!

How truly rich the bible is and a treasure we have in Christ. Everyday we are lead to dig deeper into the word and not just know of our Father but truly know Him! As a bible study assignment I was encouraged to read and dissect the following scripture and felt is it so beautiful I should pass it on to all who have ears to hear.

“To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self control, to self control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1: 1-11.)”

I see now about which others who truly know you, Father, are talking. No worldly crises/ disaster/ tribulation can harm me nor bring me down. I am under your protection and nothing can or will come between us. I know, Father, you have given us all the wisdom and strength we should ever need if only we use the tool you have provided…Your precious word. I know that if I lack those things above mentioned that I am unbelieving (blind) or not being renewed (shortsighted). When in being in Your word and truly knowing you I shall not stumble through doubt but rather grow ever closer to you, Father! Truly I am blessed and shout your word from the highest mountain in hopes that all who hear me will listen and see You, oh God, for the amazing, loving Father you are who sent Christ to absorb your wrath so that we may be saved from our own wretchedness.

“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you are disqualified.” (2 Corinthians 13:5.)

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Remains of Christ? Surely You Jest!

With all the talk of Jesus’ tomb being found, my heart is fearful for the unbelievers in my family (and the world for that matter). What if they believe these declarations and forever doubt in Christ? It breaks my heart! Why would someone come up with such a claim? Is it simply foolishness or is there malice behind it? Is it to merely try to prove what the filmmakers believe to be true (i.e. Jesus was just an ordinary man who married Mary Magdalene, had a son, and was buried in a tomb where his bones stayed until today) or is it meant to shake Christianity to its very core? And lastly, can it be compared to the controversy over the Darwin theory?

“Be still and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10.)

My heart is in turmoil. I cannot help but think, “How wicked are the ways of Hollywood that they would sink their claws and fangs into anyone, even Christ himself!” I feel Hollywood runs amuck with slander and gossip! Tabloids and magazines are filled with stories of actors and actresses cast in a negative light. Whether truth or fiction, these stories are still gossip in which Christians should not take part. In fact, we should steer clear!

“But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these are the things that make a person ritually unclean. For from his heart come the evil ideas which lead him to kill, commit adultery, and do other immoral things; to rob, lie, and slander others. These are the things that make a person unclean. But to eat without washing your hands as they say you should – this does not make a person unclean.” (Matthew 15: 18-20.)

When faced by such allegations, this slanderous gossip, what should we as Christians do? I believe for myself I should stay steady in prayer and faithful in my Father’s word. Oh, my poor Father. To have His word challenged and the word of those who knew His son said to be lies!

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16)

Surely there is a lesson to be learned in all this hoopla about the world thinking they have found Christ’s remnants and those of his alleged wife and child. Our Father could easily remove this trial yet He leaves it firmly in place. Could it be to test our faith in and commitment to Him and His Son?

“Help us, Lord! There is not a good man left; honest men can no longer be found. All of them lie to one another; they deceive each other with flattery. Silence those flattering tongues, O Lord! Close those boastful mouths that say, ‘With our words we get what we want. We will say what we wish, and no one can stop us.’

‘‘But now I will come,’ says the Lord, ‘because the needy are oppressed and the persecuted groan in pain. I will give them the security they long for.’

“The promises of the Lord can be trusted; they are as genuine as silver refined seven times in the furnace. Wicked men are everywhere, and everyone praises what is evil. Keep us always safe, O Lord, and preserve us from such people.” (Psalms 12:1-8.)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Why Are We So Quick to Doubt?

“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Romans 12:19.)

I know of a child who is in fear for her wellbeing and at times her life yet law enforcement and Child Welfare Services have done nothing to protect her. I cannot help but be confused and frustrated as to why the system is turning a blind eye to this child and the situation. As a witness to the behavior of the offender it is unclear to me as to what has to happen before the proper authorities will step in and stop the maltreatment. Will the child survive until that time? I feel it is no wonder there are battered women who say they can not find safety from their attackers. Here is a child calling for help yet no one is willing to listen.

I looked to Genesis for guidance and came upon Abraham and Sarah. Abraham was promised many decedents by God but Sarah became frustrated and impatient with not bearing a child for her husband and did things her own way. She encouraged Abraham to conceive a child with her servant Hagar.

“After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.’ But Abram said, ‘Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?’ Then Abram said, ‘Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!’ And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, ‘This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.’ Then He brought him outside and said, ‘Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ (Genesis 15:1-5.)

“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, ‘See now, the LORD has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.’ And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai. Then Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan. So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes. Then Sarai said to Abram, ‘My wrong be upon you! I gave my maid into your embrace; and when she saw that she had conceived, I became despised in her eyes. The LORD judge between you and me.’ So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram. (Genesis 16:1-15.)

“Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: ‘As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.’” (Genesis 17:3-5.)

“Then God said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.’ Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, ‘Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?’ And Abraham said to God, ‘Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!’ Then God said: ‘No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.’” (Genesis 17:15-21.)

So our Father tells us, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of everything,” yet we become upset and intolerant and mess up everything just as Sarah did! Why are we so quick to doubt? Sometimes we are called to wait. It was not until Abraham was 100 years old that he and Sarah conceived their son Isaac!

I must remain in prayer that I have wisdom that all is for the glory of God and no other; not me, not the child, nor anyone else involved. It is for my Father and my Father alone!

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-30.)

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