Monday, July 15, 2019

PRAYING FOR BIBLES


PRAYING FOR BIBLES
Monday, July 15, 2019

Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. [Repeated 3 more times in God’s Word: Mk.8:34; 10:21; Lk.9:23]

  International tariff wars aim at products and inadvertently target others, primarily not the upper class but the common citizen. This present taxing battle may seriously effect the free distribution of God’s Word to inmates and others. How so?
  Yearly 150, 000, 000 or more Bibles are printed and bound inexpensively in China, millions of which come to the USA, a considerable portion of which are distributed charitably. Tariffs will make it unprofitable for some Chinese companies and the surviving manufacturers will simply increase their prices passing the tariff expense on to consumers. Not only will USA donors have to come up with more money, there will likely be a shortage of Bibles because of limiting printings plus some Chinese businessmen will opt for the ease of selling to tariff free countries.
  Please consider and pray for this challenging dilemma.
EBB4

PS. The Bible remains the top selling book in the USA.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

I'M FINE


I’M FINE

Philippians 4:6-7, 11-12 Be careful [be anxious about] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. … Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need

  When people greet me, “Hi, how are you?” I always say “I’m fine.”
  I figured if I’m alright I don’t have anything about which to complain and if I’m not alright, no one wants to hear me complain anyway! A new neighbor asked me recently how I could always be so cheerful since I lived alone. I laughed and told him, “Living alone doesn’t have anything to do with it. It’s a lot easier on you to be cheerful than it is to be depressed .”
  Come to think of it: I had God on my side so I really wasn’t alone anyway!
Leslie Nivens


Friday, July 12, 2019

DID GOD CREATE EVIL?


DID GOD CREATE EVIL?
Friday, July 12, 2019

  "Did God create evil?"
  At first it might seem that if God created all things, then evil must have been created by God. However, evil is not a “thing” like a rock or electricity. You cannot have a jar of evil. Evil has no existence of its own; it is really the absence of good. For example, holes are real but they only exist in something else. We call the absence of dirt a hole, but it cannot be separated from the dirt. So when God created, it is true that all He created was good. One of the good things God made was creatures who had the freedom to choose good. In order to have a real choice, God had to allow there to be something besides good to choose. So, God allowed these free angels and humans to choose good or reject good (evil). When a bad relationship exists between two good things we call that evil, but it does not become a “thing” that required God to create it.
  Perhaps a further illustration will help. If a person is asked, “Does cold exist?” the answer would likely be “yes.” However, this is incorrect. Cold does not exist. Cold is the absence of heat. Similarly, darkness does not exist; it is the absence of light. Evil is the absence of good, or better, evil is the absence of God. God did not have to create evil, but rather only allow for the absence of good.
  God did not create evil, but He does allow evil. If God had not allowed for the possibility of evil, both mankind and angels would be serving God out of obligation, not choice. He did not want “robots” that simply did what He wanted them to do because of their “programming.” God allowed for the possibility of evil so that we could genuinely have a free will and choose whether or not we wanted to serve Him.
  As finite human beings, we can never fully understand an infinite God (Romans 11:33-34). Sometimes we think we understand why God is doing something, only to find out later that it was for a different purpose than we originally thought. God looks at things from a holy, eternal perspective. We look at things from a sinful, earthly, and temporal perspective. Why did God put man on earth knowing that Adam and Eve would sin and therefore bring evil, death, and suffering on all mankind? Why didn’t He just create us all and leave us in heaven where we would be perfect and without suffering? These questions cannot be adequately answered this side of eternity. What we can know is whatever God does is holy and perfect and ultimately will glorify Him. God allowed for the possibility of evil in order to give us a true choice in regards to whether we worship Him. God did not create evil, but He allowed it. If He had not allowed evil, we would be worshipping Him out of obligation, not by a choice of our own will.
© Copyright 2002-2013 Got Questions Ministries.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

LOVING GOD?


ALL PRESENT OR ACCOUNTED FOR
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Hebrews [ESV] 10: 12-25 … when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds," then he adds, "I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more." Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

  When it comes to church assembly attendance and participation (2 separate areas) professing Christians have never been all present and accounted for. The Book of Hebrews was written in the first century of the church and it speaks of truancy then. The #1 reason given is neglect (KJV “forsaking). The Greek definition being: Strong’s G1459 ἐγκαταλείπω; egkataleipō; eng-kat-al-i'-po; From G1722 and G2641; to leave behind in some place, that is, (in a good sense) let remain over, or (in a bad one) to desert: - forsake, leave.
  Today’s title is a military phrase indicating just what it says, all present or accounted for at roll call, or not; the latter being increasingly the case today in our USA Christian nation.
  Mainline denomination numbers have been falling for decades. Now the largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), has experienced a decade of drop in membership. What do you see in your local church assembly roll and space?
  Church numbers are not to be our goal, individuals are most important, but as we actively love *God and others, and if they come to accept their individual responsibility, there will be numbers honoring our Lord as we encourage and support one another in good and bad times.
  Indeed church leadership and active members have responsibility for caring for one another, but let us note the wording by the writer of Hebrews . . . faithful participation is primarily responsibility of the individual believer.
  Let us not forget for one day that the roll call here affects the eternal roll call on “the Day”.
 EBB4

*Ex.16:28; 20:6; Lev.22:31; 26:3; Deut.5:10; Jn.14:15; 15:10

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

CHRISTIAN THINKING VERSUS GOD'S WAYS


CHRISTIAN THINKING VERSUS GOD’S WAYS
Tuesday, July 09, 2019

  Isaiah [ESV] 55:5-9 Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know, and a nation that did not know you shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you. "Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 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.
  Romans 12:1-3 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

  Our ideas often are in conflict with Jehovah God Almighty’s ways. This thought occurred to me during Pastor Mike’s preaching on Habakkuk Sunday morning. In particular I thought of those of us pleading with God to heal our nation as it continues morally spiraling downward; our expectation being a wonderful exciting great glorious awakening revival. But when I consider His recorded history of correcting nations, especially Israel, it may be a long-term purging by invaders on fast horses.
  Let us beware egocentric thoughts.
EBB4

Monday, July 8, 2019

ACCEPTING TRUTH


ACCEPTING WHAT GOD SAYS
Monday, July 08, 2019

  Authentic belief always produces results. This includes living free. (Jn.8:36) God’s Word explains this both in general and specifically in reference to The Word living and written.
  When my being sinful and ignorant of needing Jesus the Redeemer was pointed out to me by faithful witness Bud Bond, I believed what I then considered obvious about myself and all others and then trusted Jesus for salvation. (Bud always had me read applicable Scripture aloud to him, then asked “What does the Word say?”)
  Later, in further study I discovered “resurrection” wasn’t to only be physically realized and celebrated as a future calendar event. Not as obvious to me as something beyond trusting “Going to heaven!” I didn’t readily accept “the power of His resurrection”. (Phil.3:10) Later I did, and am glad for it, relieved by it.
  Then casually, then carefully, as encouraged to I studied believers’ designation of “saint”. Stuck in familial teaching received in youth, I did not initially agree to the fact even though much Scripture addresses the followers of Lord Jesus Christ as such. (KJV: “saint” twice; “saints” 96 times.) Why didn’t I accept the designation according to God’s Word?
  In my belief “sinner” held me from trusting what the Word living and written addresses His redeemed as; saint! Now this is no longer a problem. However, being one of His saints and acting saintly every single moment of the day is.
  Lord, help thou my unbelief! (Mk.9:24) 
EBB4
 

Sunday, July 7, 2019

CHILDREN

CHILDREN

Luke 18:15-17

 In the first apartment complex where I lived after Hugh died, there were lots of children. They were nearly all from broken homes and every day they came to see me for homemade bread, candy, games and to be held and rocked.
  One day I gathered balloons that had been left at the church after a wedding. I tied them in such a way that when I took them from the van they made a cloud of color 20 feet or so in the air. The children came running to ask if I was selling them. I told them “No.” That I would give one to each one of them that asked their mother if they could go to church with me.
  That evening I took 15 of those precious little ones to hear the Word of God. Later that evening a 9 year old boy came to my apartment to ask to talk to me about being saved. Thanks to balloons and the Holy Spirit [and Leslie’s commitment!] I had the privilege of leading that child to Christ.
Leslie Nivens