Wednesday, August 10, 2022

GOD KNOWS

 

GOD KNOWS

Thought for critical thinking discussion in the light of God’s Word: The USA is a mixed economy, an olio of classical liberalism (free markets) and bureaucratic socialism. In our nations early times it was primarily the former, then through man-centered democracy things changed

A core change was/is the shift to bureaucracies established to decide and manage public “needs”. So now we have government heavily weighed by socialism.

In Epoch Times, July 27-Aug.2, Mark Hendrickson stated “… in a typical year, more than 90% of the rules that Americans must live by (or else be fined or otherwise punished) are promulgated by bureaucrats rather than enacted by legislators.”

Furthermore: According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Clyde Wayne Crews, in 2020, Congress passed 178 laws, while executive branch unelected bureaucrats issued 3,353 binding rules. That’s a 19 to 1 ratio favoring socialistic governing.

“If you want to put a dollar figure on the cost of bureaucratism in the United States, economists John Dawson and John Seater calculated the 2011 gross [national] product of $15.1 trillion could have been $53.9 trillion – 3 ½ times greater -- if federal regulations had remained at their 1949 level.”

If at all, how do you think this relates to Scripture? If so, how?

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

DOES EVERYONE HAVE A "GOD-SHAPED HOLE"?

 

Does everyone have a "God-shaped hole"?

  The “God-shaped hole” concept states that every person has a void in his soul/spirit/life that can only be filled by God. The “God-shaped hole” is the innate longing of the human heart for something outside itself, something transcendent, something “other.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 refers to God’s placing of "eternity in man’s heart." God made humanity for His eternal purpose, and only God can fulfill our desire for eternity. All religion is based on the innate desire to “connect” with God. This desire can only be fulfilled by God, and therefore can be likened to a “God-shaped hole.”
  The problem, though, is that humanity ignores this hole or attempts to fill it with things other than God. 
Jeremiah 17:9 describes the condition of our hearts: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Solomon reiterates the same concept: “The hearts of men, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live…” (Ecclesiastes 9:3). The New Testament concurs: “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so” (Romans 8:7). Romans 1:18-22 describes humanity ignoring what can be known about God, including presumably the “God-shaped hole,” and instead worshiping anything and everything other than God.
  Sadly, too many spend their lives looking for something other than God to fill their longing for meaning—business, family, sports, etc. But in pursuing these things that are not eternal, they remain unfulfilled and wonder why their lives never seem satisfactory. There is no doubt that many people pursuing things other than God achieve a measure of “happiness” for a time. But when we consider Solomon, who had all the riches, success, esteem, and power in the world—in short, all that men seek after in this life—we see that none of it fulfilled the longing for eternity. He declared it all “vanity,” meaning that he sought after these things in vain because they did not satisfy. In the end he said, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man” (
Ecclesiastes 12:13).
  Just as a square peg cannot fill a round hole, neither can the “God-shaped hole” inside each of us be filled by anyone or anything other than God. Only through a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ can the “God-shaped hole” be filled and the desire for eternity fulfilled.
GotQuestions.org

Monday, August 8, 2022

BELIEVERS ENJOY ASSIGNED RIGHTEOUSNESS

 

BELIEVERS ENJOY ASSIGNED RIGHTEOUSNESS

  Ephesians 2:8-10 clearly explains there is nothing we of ourselves can do to gain present and eternal life. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! For as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; “ (Rom.3:10) There is however the John 14:6 Way.

 

Romans [ESV] 3:21-25 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 

 

  The only eternal life qualifying righteousness is provided to individuals as they wholly trust Jesus.

 

Romans 4:11, 22-24 And he [Abraham] received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: … And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

Romans 5:13 For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. [Also note Hebrews chapter 11]

 

  The core meaning of imputed is “assigned”, Old and New Testament believers being assigned righteousness essential to present and eternal redemption. In reviewing the above truth included in God’s Word we understand that this has always been central to the Way. (Jn.14:1-6)     

EBB4

Sunday, August 7, 2022

GUIDED BY HIS EYE

 GUIDED BY HIS EYE

Psalm [MKJV] 32:8-9 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you, My eye shall be on you. Be not like the horse, or like the mule, who have no understanding, whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, so that they do not come near you. 

  I read about a man who trains horses by using only his eyes and body language. Nothing was said about how he gets the horses to “look” at him.

  Psalm 32:8 doesn’t mention that we should look toward God, but that is what we have to do. Look to Him – ALWAYS IN ALL WAYS – so He can guide us with His eye.

Leslie Nivens (12/12/1928 – 3/1/2020)

 

PS. Soon after trusting Lord Jesus Christ, for good reason, I took Psalm 32:8-9 as my life verses. EBB4

Friday, August 5, 2022

BORN AGAIN?

 

What does it mean to be a born again Christian?

 

The classic passage from the Bible that answers this question is John 3:1-21. The Lord Jesus Christ is talking to Nicodemus, a prominent Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin (the ruling body of the Jews). Nicodemus had come to Jesus at night with some questions.

As Jesus talked with Nicodemus, He said, “‘I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.’ ‘How can a man be born when he is old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again”’” (John 3:3-7).

The phrase "born again" literally means "born from above." Nicodemus had a real need. He needed a change of his heart—a spiritual transformation. New birth, being born again, is an act of God whereby eternal life is imparted to the person who believes (2 Corinthians 5:17Titus 3:51 Peter 1:31 John 2:293:94:75:1-418). John 1:1213 indicates that being "born again" also carries the idea of "becoming children of God" through trust in the name of Jesus Christ.

The question logically comes, "Why does a person need to be born again?" The apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:1 says, "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins" (NKJV). To the Romans he wrote, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Sinners are spiritually “dead”; when they receive spiritual life through faith in Christ, the Bible likens it to a rebirth. Only those who are born again have their sins forgiven and have a relationship with God.

How does that come to be? Ephesians 2:8-9 states, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast." When one is saved, he/she has been born again, spiritually renewed, and is now a child of God by right of new birth. Trusting in Jesus Christ, the One who paid the penalty of sin when He died on the cross, is the means to be "born again." "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

If you have never trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, will you consider the prompting of the Holy Spirit as He speaks to your heart? You need to be born again. Will you pray the prayer of repentance and become a new creation in Christ today? "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God" (John 1:12-13).

If you want to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and be born again, here is a sample prayer. Remember, saying this prayer or any other prayer will not save you. It is only trusting in Christ that can save you from sin. This prayer is simply a way to express to God your faith in Him and thank Him for providing for your salvation. "God, I know that I have sinned against you and am deserving of punishment. But Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. I place my trust in You for salvation. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness—the gift of eternal life! Amen!"

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Thursday, August 4, 2022

WHY DID JESUS COME?

 

WHY DID JESUS COME?

 

2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 

 

  Jesus did eternal things in His brief walk among mankind, many being recorded in God’s Word. In reading the Bible we see him teaching love, compassion, correction; how to live abundantly . . . good things, but what of His primary mission? What was it? Though the world thereafter changed, was that central to His ministry?

  Overall Jesus came to do the Father’s will: “And seeing Him, they were amazed. And His mother said to Him, Child, why have you done so to us? Behold, your father and I have looked for you, greatly distressed. And He said to them, Why did you look for Me? Do you not know that I must be about My Father's business? And they did not understand the word which He spoke to them.” (MKJV Lk.2:48-50; also note Jn.5:30)    

  Central and basic to His mission was to fulfill His Father’s plan of saving the lost, those “already condemned”. (John chapter 3; Mt.9:13; Lk.19:10) God providing salvation, we individually believing or remaining lost.

  Though it shall not be so, my prayer is that all would come to saving repentance.

EBB4

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

A COMMON QUESTION?

 

A COMMON QUESTION?

 

  A sister in Christ told Ann and I that their family’s church has a new pastor, and that he is insistent about every parishioner bringing their own Bible, and looking up the Scripture he is preaching/teaching on, and following along as he does so.

  My silent reaction was “Wonderful!” and remembering that prior to coming to Omaha in 84’, our family never attended a church where everyone didn’t carry their personal Bible, turn to the subject verses and follow along in preaching and teaching settings. (References given, you would hear the rustling of pages.) Nor until 24 years ago had we been around so many professing Christians that had difficulty locating books and passages in the Bible when required to do so.

  Is this because there is a common question that we seldom now ask or hear: Does the Bible say anything about this (event, stress, problem, need, want, habit, decision to be made et al)? Plus, if so, how do I find it?

  None of the above is meant to be holier-than-thou criticism on my part, but a call for those of us that claim Jesus is Lord, saying we believe His Word, to return to His Book. Consider the thoughts of some of our forerunners on this topic.

 

  St. Augustine (354-430) “The Holy Scriptures are our letters from home.”

  Martin Luther (1483-1546) “The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me.”

  George Mueller (1805-1898) “The vigor of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Bible in our life and thoughts.”

  Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) “Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.”

  Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) “In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength.”

  Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) “Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet-anchor of your liberties; write its precepts in your hearts, and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this book we are all indebted for all the true progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look as our guide in the future.”

  Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) “”I never had any doubt about it being of divine origin …. Point out to me any similar collection of writings that has lasted for as many thousands of years and is still a bestseller, worldwide. It had to be of divine origin.”

 

  Today you will note that I have done something unusual; no Bible references. I suggest you yourself consider what should be the common question in our lives, “What does the Bible say about this?” and look for relevant verses, ponder them, act upon them. EBB4