Thursday, September 15, 2011

DAILY TRUTH – There is Only One God and One Lord

“…We are aware that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God except One.  For even if so be that there are those being termed gods, whether in heaven or on earth, even as there are many gods and many lords, nevertheless for us there is one God, the Father, out of Whom all is, and we for Him, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through Whom all is, and we through Him.  But not in all is there this knowledge....”  (1 Corinthians 8:4-7)

There is only one God:  YHWH, out of whom all is.  He is the One from Whom everything originates.  While He is spirit and unseen to our human eyes, He is the source of everything that exists. 

There is only one Lord:  His Son, Jesus Christ, Lord of all, through Whom all is.  He is the One through Whom God speaks to us and through Whom God fulfills His plans for the world and mankind.  He makes God audible and visible to the world.

It is also true that “not in all is there this knowledge”.  Whether we are aware of it or not, whether we know it or not, or believe it or not, the truth that there is one God and one Lord remains true. 

May we be granted the faith to believe and the ability to understand the truth.

For a related post on this topic, see a previous post titled, “One God and One Lord”.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

DAILY TRUTH – The Power of Prayer

“…and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.  Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.  Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.”   (James 5:16-18)

What do these words truly mean?  How are we to apply them today?

As I have observed and listened to others, I have come to the belief that these words are hugely misunderstood by many who read them and attempt to apply this instruction given by James.

Do these words mean that if we pray hard enough and long enough, while we are behaving as righteously as could be humanly possible, we can make anything we want happen? ...  

Friday, September 9, 2011

DAILY TRUTH – The Counsel of God’s Will

“…the One Who is operating all in accord with the counsel of His will...” 
(Ephesians 1:11)

God is working and moving in complete accordance with His perfect will. 

There are times it is easy to accept this truth and be content with it.  It is easy to accept this truth when things are going well and good things happen in our lives or in the world around us.  “Oh look,” we say, “Isn’t God grand that everything is working out so nicely and beautifully!” “Isn’t God’s timing just perfect?  That could not have been resolved as well except for God having his hand in it.”

There are times when it feels impossible to accept this truth.  Disaster strikes in our lives or in the world and, suddenly, the Devil’s will seems to be in control.   “The Devil is getting the upper hand today with all the terrible things going on.”  “Where is God?  Why doesn’t He do something?  Doesn’t He care?  How can God be all-powerful and let things like this go on?”... 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

DAILY TRUTH – The Value of Selfless Sacrifice

“…that you may be mutually disposed, having mutual love, joined in soul, being disposed to one thing--nothing according with faction, nor yet according with vainglory -- but with humility, deeming one another superior to one's self, not each noting that which is his own, but each that of others also.  For let this disposition be in you, which is in Christ Jesus also, Who, being inherently in the form of God, deems it not pillaging to be equal with God, nevertheless empties Himself, taking the form of a slave, coming to be in the likeness of humanity, and, being found in fashion as a human, He humbles Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”  (Philippians 2:2-8)

We are encouraged to be disposed to one another with love, unselfishness, and humility.  Reading that exhortation is much easier than applying it.  The more years that I live life, the more I realize how many things we do and give more for our own sakes than that of others.  It is in our imperfect human nature to take care of and please our own selves first and others later...  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

DAILY TRUTH – Christ Died for Our Sakes

“For Christ, while we are still infirm, still in accord with the era, for the sake of the irreverent, died.  For hardly for the sake of a just man will anyone be dying: for, for the sake of a good man, perhaps someone may even be daring to die, yet God is commending this love of His to us, seeing that, while we are still sinners, Christ died for our sakes.”  (Romans 5:6-8)

God’s superb grace and unfathomable love is magnificently revealed to us by the fact that His Son, Jesus Christ, gave Himself, His whole life for the sake of sinning and irreverent people. 

It is easy to love, do good things, and make sacrifices for those who love us back and show an appreciation for what we do for them.   It is not easy to sacrificially pour ourselves out and our love and grace to others when they have animosity towards us and return our goodness with ungratefulness, hatefulness, anger, or resentment... 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

DAILY TRUTH – God’s Grace is Unmerited

“…if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”  (Romans 11:6)

God’s grace cannot be true grace if we must do *anything* to receive it.  God’s grace is unmerited—meaning there is *nothing* we can do to have God extend it to us.  He pours His grace over us simply out of His character of unfailing and boundless love.  God’s grace is all about His doing and our receiving... 

Friday, June 24, 2011

About the Bible and Bible Study - Part 2

This is a continuation from a previous post
About the Bible and Bible Study - PART 1

PART 2 – About Bible Study

One of the best things that we can do when beginning to read the Bible is to get a hold of one of the best and most accurate translations possible.  I do not believe there exists an infallible translation, but I do believe there are those which are much better than others.

Back in 1995, my dearest friend, gave my husband and me a New International Version Study Bible (NIV).  That particular Bible will always have very special meaning in my life.  It was the Bible that I read more than any other Bible I had ever held before it.  I devoured it—studying with it, writing in it, and highlighting in it all over the place.  A few short years later, I decided to move on to using a New American Standard Bible (NAS).  I had heard and read that it was a translation more true to the original languages.  By that time, I longed to be a more serious studier of the Scriptures and wanted as close to the original as possible.  For years, the NAS was my most preferred translation, and I didn’t think I could get my hands on a better Bible.  But I was always keeping an eye out, just in case. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Every Day, It's All About Christ

The evangel…

Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that He was entombed, and that He has been roused the third day according to the scriptures…

One died for the sake of all…

He died for the sake of all that those who are living should by no means still be living to themselves, but to the One dying and being roused for their sakes…

God was in Christ conciliating the world to Himself, not reckoning their offenses to them…

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

About the Bible and Bible Study - Part 1

PART 1 – About the Bible    

I wanted to share some thoughts regarding the Bible and Bible study.   

There are controversies regarding the Bible and whether it is true or not (as a whole or in part), whether it is worth reading or not, whether it is a work of God or of man, and whether it can be trusted or not. 

If one follows most common, mainstream Bible teachings, the Bible will eventually seem to be full of contradictions.  Most Bible teachers will not usually straight up admit to that.  However, on one day, a person can receive a particular teaching and explanation about what is written in the Bible, and on another day, a person can be taught something that completely contradicts the teaching that came before it.  Excuses or some kind of weak pat answers are typically given to a person who asks why the Bible and God’s ways seem to be contradictory.  From my own experience, I have had plenty of such instances in my life.  And when the questions would start rolling through my mind, I would shoo them away like flies because I kept telling myself that “God’s ways aren’t my ways” and “Who am I to question God’s confusing behavior and plan?”  So I would just keep swatting away the pesky questions and try to content myself with an answer like, “That’s just the way it is, and I must accept it.”

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Simplicity of Salvation

“For in grace, through faith, are you saved,
and this is not out of you;
it is God’s approach present,
not of works lest anyone should be boasting.”
(Ephesians 2:8-9)

I’ll have to begin this post with a little technical info on the Greek language.  Please bear with me; it’s so important to the point I’m going to make.

The majority of the New Testament is written in the Greek language.  Greek can be quite a complicated language and sometimes it is difficult to translate the full meaning of its text into the English language.  This is partly due to the fact that Greek verbs have different “tenses”, “voices”, and “moods” which give the verbs slightly different connotations.  If you’d like to be a serious student of the New Testament writings, gaining knowledge of these aspects of the Greek language is important.  

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Do You Believe God?

Loved this well stated quote from my friend, Dan Sheridan:
"Most people today believe other men rather than the Scriptures. Abraham believed God. Do you believe God? Or are you a follower of someone who is, or claims to be one of His servants? Most people never advance beyond the person they set up as their teacher. They are attracted to personalities, and NOT truth. They support people who make them feel good. They like entertainers rather than substance."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Caught Somewhere in Between

I am so excited to finally be sitting down to write this post.  I have wanted to write this one for a very long time—probably about two years.

From the first moment that listened to the words of the Casting Crowns song “Somewhere in the Middle” (The Altar and the Door CD), I felt deeply inspired and was filled with countless thoughts that went along with the truths spoken in the song.  I’ve wanted to express those thoughts in writing since then.  This document has been sitting in my computer files titled, but empty of words until today.  God only knows what I would have written back then; I only have the words He has given me for today.