Friday, May 14, 2021

ISRAEL'S GUARANTEE?

 

GotQuestions.org: "Did God give Israel the Promised Land for all time (Deuteronomy 4:40)?"

  In Deuteronomy 4:40 the Lord gave the Israelites this command: “Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.” Does this mean God gave Israel the Promised Land in perpetuity?
  This passage contains a conditional offer. Israel would have the Promised Land as they kept God’s “decrees and commands.” The Israelites had to obey God’s statutes in order to remain in the land. History reveals that the Israelites often disobeyed, resulting in temporary times of exile from their land.
  However, the end of this passage notes that God is giving Israel the Promised Land “for all time.” The Hebrew phrase translated “for all time” is a general statement, likely in reference to God’s original promise of a land to Abraham in Genesis 12.
  There are both a conditional and unconditional aspect to God’s promise. God offered blessings within the Promised Land conditionally, related to the Israelites’ obedience. Yet God also made an unconditional vow that Israel would have the Promised Land “for all time.”
  How long is “for all time”? In the book of Revelation, we see Israel as a central focus. In the end times, Israel faces many difficulties, yet that tribulation concludes with the Messiah reigning from His throne in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. The book concludes with a new heaven, new earth, and new Jerusalem. The promise of Deuteronomy 4:40 is a far-seeing promise, extending to the end of this world’s existence and even into the time of the new earth.
  Many other passages of Scripture support the fact that Israel will possess the Promised Land forever. For example, God spoke to Isaac in Genesis 26:3, saying, “Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham.” The Lord also spoke to Jacob in Genesis 28:13–14 with similar words: “There above it stood the Lord, and he said: ‘I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.’” See also Psalm 132:14; Isaiah 14;1; and Zechariah 2:3–5, 10–13.
  Some have suggested that, because of God’s promises to Israel concerning the Promised Land, Christians should support the modern nation of Israel without reservation. Christians have many reasons to support the people of Israel, but this does not mean Christians must agree with every political decision made by the modern Israeli government. Instead, the focus is on God’s spiritual restoration of Israel (Romans 11:26) and the enduring promise to His chosen people.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

GOD'S WAY; A BIBLICAL THEME

 GOD’S WAY; A BIBLICAL THEME

  Psalm [ESV] 1:1-6 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. 

  Proverbs 3:1-12 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. 

  Beginning with Jehovah God Almighty instructing Adam as to what he was to do and not to do, godly living unto blessedness is a Scriptural theme. A theme that has been largely forgotten and/or discounted. Far from Biblical, the contemporary “The God of your understanding” being a major contributor.

  An obvious public example of this is “Prayer breakfasts often promote the appealing lie that God will bless the plans of anyone who calls upon Him to do so. Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and atheists are all welcomed and nothing must be said at such ecumenical gatherings that might offend those of “other faiths.” Therefore, speakers generally offer the same self-centered gospel which is being preached from many pulpits today—a gospel which leads the hearers to imagine that sin is not our problem, we just have messed-up lives which God is eager to mend. This “God’s” sole purpose is to make us happy and successful. The “converts” of such endeavors are excited that by their “decision for Christ,” God is now on their side and will bless their lives. God’s justice, integrity, honor and glory have no part in this humanistic “Christianity.” One is given the distinct impression that God is just as eager to bless Caesar if we but ask.” (Dave Hunt, the Berean Call.)

  More common is the political speech addendum “God bless America!” from the lips of men and women living far from Biblical godliness.

  But the issue is not really about those that we have no power over. It’s really about my and your walk, isn’t it?

EBB4

 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

WRONGLY DIVIDING

 WRONGLY DIVIDING

  Matthew 16:24-25 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. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

  1Corinthians 12:14-20 For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If all the body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If all hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body as it has pleased Him. And if they were all one member, where would be the body? But now indeed many are the members, yet only one body. 

  1Thessalonians 5:18-19 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit.

  I’ve pondered the wrongly dividing the Word of Truth by looking at and thinking by Bible verses taken apart from the greater context; an example being that work is man’s bane, when it really is a holy assignment from our Creator. (Gen.1:28-31; 2:15, 20a) Looking at work as something to be avoided is missing not just His assignment, but erring seriously from His wisdom and thereof great blessing lost.

  Affecting shunning of work is embraced curse for both individual and nation. We don’t have be a history major to see that able people deliberately “Living on the dole.” entitlement lifestyle as opposed to honorable endeavor has destroyed more than one civilization and is eroding more than one this day.

  Along with rejecting work as holy assignment is another injurious wrongly dividing of sum that is God’s. It is Gnostic belief from ancient pagan Greek thought and philosophy: The concept that there is a spiritual world and a physical world; Spiritual being higher, the physical lower. The present common cataloging being Spiritual versus Secular, as though secular is distinctly different category than spiritual.

  This dualistic mindset is both congregant and congregational harmful, suppressing God’s Holy Spirit and thereby hindering our holy assignment. (1Thes.5:18-19)

  To believe that “full-time Christian service” comes under title different than garbage collector, lawyer, ditch digger, engineer, tradesman, artist et al . . . and that it requires seminary lettering, pastor, overseas missionary is detrimental to overall health and vigor of the church.

  How can we possibly live with cheerful heart in godly preservation if we live a divided life?  (Prov.17:22; 1Thes.5:23) Unless we live with renewed thinking, we cannot! (Rom.12:1-3)

  All that trust Lord Jesus Christ, whatever our position in life we’re called to His full-time service. (Mt.16:24-25; Philemon)

  I close with Paul’s exhortation on the matter: “Brothers and sisters, in view of all we have just shared about God's compassion, I encourage you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him. This kind of worship is appropriate for you. Don't become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants-what is good, pleasing, and perfect. Because of the kindness that God has shown me, I ask you not to think of yourselves more highly than you should. Instead, your thoughts should lead you to use good judgment based on what God has given each of you as believers. Our bodies have many parts, but these parts don't all do the same thing. [1Cor.12:1-31] ... Don't be lazy in showing your devotion. Use your energy to serve the Lord. Be happy in your confidence, be patient in trouble, and pray continually. … Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil with good.’” (Read Rom.12:1-21; 1Cor.2:1-31)

EBB4

Monday, May 10, 2021

THE WORD ON ALCOHOL

 

What does the Bible say about drinking alcohol?

  Scripture has much to say regarding the drinking of alcohol (
Leviticus 10:9Numbers 6:3Deuteronomy 29:6Judges 13:4714Proverbs 20:131:4Isaiah 5:112224:928:729:956:12). However, Scripture does not necessarily forbid a Christian from drinking beer, wine, or any other drink containing alcohol. In fact, some Scriptures discuss alcohol in positive terms. Ecclesiastes 9:7 instructs, “Drink your wine with a merry heart.” Psalm 104:14-15 states that God gives wine “that makes glad the heart of men.” Amos 9:14 discusses drinking wine from your own vineyard as a sign of God’s blessing. Isaiah 55:1 encourages, “Yes, come buy wine and milk…”

  What God commands Christians regarding alcohol is to avoid drunkenness (Ephesians 5:18). The Bible condemns drunkenness and its effects (Proverbs 23:29-35). Christians are also commanded to not allow their bodies to be “mastered” by anything (1 Corinthians 6:122 Peter 2:19). Drinking alcohol in excess is undeniably addictive. Scripture also forbids a Christian from doing anything that might offend other Christians or encourage them to sin against their conscience (1 Corinthians 8:9-13). In light of these principles, it would be extremely difficult for any Christian to say he is drinking alcohol in excess to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
  Jesus changed water into wine. It even seems that 
Jesus drank wine on occasion (John 2:1-11Matthew 26:29). In New Testament times, the water was not very clean. Without modern sanitation, the water was often filled with bacteria, viruses, and all kinds of contaminants. The same is true in many third-world countries today. As a result, people often drank wine (or grape juice) because it was far less likely to be contaminated. In 1 Timothy 5:23, Paul instructed Timothy to stop drinking water exclusively (which was probably causing his stomach problems) and instead drink wine. In that day, wine was fermented (containing alcohol), but not necessarily to the degree it is today. It is incorrect to say that it was grape juice, but it is also incorrect to say that it was the same thing as the wine commonly used today. Again, Scripture does not forbid Christians from drinking beer, wine, or any other drink containing alcohol. Alcohol is not, in and of itself, tainted by sin. It is drunkenness and addiction to alcohol that a Christian must absolutely refrain from (Ephesians 5:181 Corinthians 6:12).
  Alcohol, consumed in small quantities, is neither harmful nor addictive. In fact, some doctors advocate drinking small amounts of red wine for its health benefits, especially for the heart. Consumption of small quantities of alcohol is a matter of Christian freedom. Drunkenness and addiction are sin. However, due to the biblical concerns regarding alcohol and its effects, due to the easy temptation to consume alcohol in excess, and due to the possibility of causing offense and/or stumbling of others, it is often best for a Christian to abstain from drinking alcohol.   GotQuestions.org

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FYI: I don’t partake at all due to growing up around and dealing with those mastered by alcohol and/or drugs. Some unto poor health physically and/or financially and too many an early grave. EBB4

 

Sunday, May 9, 2021

MOTHER'S DAY?

 GotQuestrions.org: Should Christians celebrate Mother’s Day?

  Mother’s Day—called Mothering Day in the U.K.—can be traced back to ancient pagan practices, but it has gone through a lot of changes and names to get to what we know today. The history of Mother’s Day can be traced back to celebrations of ancient Greece in honor of Rhea, the mother of the gods. During the 1600s, the early Christians in England celebrated a day to honor Mary, the mother of Christ. By a religious order, the holiday was later expanded to include all mothers. Mother’s Day occurs in the U.S. once a year on the second Sunday of May, while Mothering Day in the U.K. is celebrated the fourth Sunday of Lent. Traditional ways to celebrate Mother’s Day are to take mothers out to dinner and/or honor them with cards, flowers, or candy. Biblically, honoring mothers (and fathers) is commanded by God in both the Old and New Testaments (Deuteronomy 5:16Ephesians 6:2).
  The Bible does not command us to dedicate a special day to honor our mothers, nor is there anything in the Bible to condemn it. So the question is whether, considering the pagan roots of the holiday, Christians should celebrate Mother’s Day. The key is found in Romans 14:5-8: “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”
  As Christians, we should be fully convinced that we are doing what God wants us to do. If we choose to celebrate Mother’s Day and we see nothing wrong with it, then we should celebrate with a clear conscience. If, however, celebrating is against one’s conscience, then celebrating is not appropriate. On the other hand, if one does not celebrate Mother’s Day or any other holiday for reasons of conscience, that is fine, as long as he/she does not become prideful, looking down on those who do celebrate. As with all issues not specifically addressed in Scripture, we have the freedom to celebrate or not celebrate Mother’s Day, according to personal preference.

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HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! EBB4

Friday, May 7, 2021

PRIDE

 ACCEPTABLY PROUD?

  Mark (MKJV) 12:28-33 And coming up one of the scribes heard them reasoning, knowing that He had answered them well, he asked Him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength." This is the first commandment. And the second is like this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. And the scribe said to Him, Right, Teacher, according to truth You have spoken, that God is one, and there is no other besides Him. And to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love the neighbor as himself, is more than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.

  1John 2:15-17 Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides forever.

  Through the years I’ve learned a few things about taking tests. For one thing, getting a C on a test is not the end of life; the goal is not to Ace tests but maturation in ways pleasing to God; don’t slow down for any particular question(s) you can’t immediate answer as doing so builds anxiety and doing so you may not complete test in time allowed; and a BIGGIE: The answer may be in the next question(s) or as your mind is working on several planes, you may in subconscious review realize the answer is in the wording of the puzzling question. (Some test writers incorporate answers deliberately as an extension of learning or wanting class average to be higher. Some incorporate answers without realizing they’re doing so.)

  So it is with “Can we be proud without committing sin of vanity?”

  Going to Scripture I see several applicable points.

1.       Sinful pride has to do with the stuff of self, not God, not others. Mk.12:28-33; 1Jn.2:15-17

2.       Sinful pride is connected to fear, not peace. In Luke 12 note Jesus’ words on the anxious puffery of pride in position and possession, “Which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his stature?”

3.       In 1Corinthians chapters 12 & 13 “, the Apostle Paul applied Jesus teaching to the stature conscious children of God “charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,” True godly love is charitable. It is not All-about-me!

4.       A test of true fellowship with God and others is loving obedience to the primary commandments regardless of circumstance.

5.       We are not to be vaingloriously proud of position or possessions, but are to humbly esteem others so long as we’re not doing so vicariously. Am I proud of my child or am I proud because they’re my child? (I later understood why HS teacher Flora Wiley assigned reading MY SON RALPH.)

6.       I see this healthy pride in the Father’s example in saying “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Mt.3:13-17 It could be argued this is different for He is God. But aren’t we to be godly (like Him) in our attitude, word and deed? (Mt.5:48) We can do so if and only when solidly grounded in His Word, including understanding what we are and what we are not.

EBB4

Thursday, May 6, 2021

A STUDY IN GRACE

 A STUDY IN GRACE

  Nehemiah chapter 7 And my God put into mine heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first, and found written therein, These are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, … (KJV Neh.7)

  James [GW] chapter 4 "God opposes arrogant people, but he is kind to humble people." So place yourselves under God's authority. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you. Come close to God, and he will come close to you. Clean up your lives, you sinners, and clear your minds, you doubters. Be miserable, mourn, and cry. Turn your laughter into mourning and your joy into gloom. Humble yourselves in the Lord's presence. Then he will give you a high position. Brothers and sisters, stop slandering each other. Those who slander and judge other believers slander and judge God's teachings. If you judge God's teachings, you are no longer following them. Instead, you are judging them. There is only one teacher and judge. He is able to save or destroy you. So who are you to judge your neighbor? Pay attention to this! You're saying, "Today or tomorrow we will go into some city, stay there a year, conduct business, and make money." You don't know what will happen tomorrow. What is life? You are a mist that is seen for a moment and then disappears. Instead, you should say, "If the Lord wants us to, we will live and carry out our plans." However, you brag because you're arrogant. All such bragging is evil. Whoever knows what is right but doesn't do it is sinning.

  Though I don’t get to spend much time on it and primarily rely on family for their records, research, photos and stories, I enjoy genealogy and find it seriously worthwhile.

  I do however look at our family tree mindful of God’s warning to never take pride in birth or blood! (Jn.8:31-34; 1Tim.1:4; Tit.3:9) Unless the family characteristic of tenacity would be twisted to MAJORDOMO MEISM, thankfully thus far I’ve not grafted into branch narrative or twig tale to the fruition of or in support of personal puffery. 

  Other than being fun, relaxing, and making for happy cousin communication . . .  how is genealogy seriously worthwhile for me?

  From childhood on I’ve always been interested in history because of the way it provokes edifying  thoughtfulness.

  Genealogy makes large history intimately personal. There is vast difference between distant reading of the horrific number of deaths and injuries in coal mining and discovering my great-uncle Thorton James Crowe on June 21, 1913 left Isabella a widow when he was crushed to death in Ocean Mine #1, Consolidated Mines, Allegany, Maryland.

  Genealogy humbles me.

  Genealogy brings grace to my thoughts and writing as does another interest, gardening . . . both never letting me forget the fragility of life. 

EBB4