Taking a day off from blogging. Maybe a few. Peace, blessings and prayers for you all and I ask the same in return. I’m still going to read, so keep up the good work all of you.
I have often said that while Christianity is quite exclusive, that no one is excluded. Great job expanding on this, Laura.
Christianity is both inclusive and exclusive, a point you will come across in Christian apologetics. The title of this post – Jesus was inclusive with people but exclusive with truth – is the way I heard it said by a local preacher years ago when his text was from one of the gospels. I appreciated the succinct wording.
I once had a blog series where I considered the question – “Is there salvation outside of Christ?” – and considered the options of pluralism, inclusivism, and exclusivism. Check the series out, if you’d like, as I am not going to re-hash it.
It could sound confusing or contradictory – how can something be both inclusive and exclusive at the same time? Yet this is an apt description of Christianity.
The famous gospel text John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that he gave us Jesus. This plan of God…
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Adam and Eve weren’t really hiding their sin from God, and neither can we
And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
by Mark Clements
Wednesday, April 17
People Are Chosen To Live in Jerusalem
“And the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts to dwell in other cities. And the people blessed all the men, that willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem,” Nehemiah 11:1, 2.
Now that the wall was completed around the city of Jerusalem and order had been restored, it was important that it be populated by people. If the city was left uninhabited, it would increase the likelihood that it would be overrun and destroyed again by outsiders. More importantly, if worship in the Temple and the sacrificial system were to be restored, a healthy infrastructure of citizens was needed to support it. In order to determine who would move from outside to inside the city, lots were cast. One out of ten people were selected to move into the city limits. Even though they were selected by lot, they moved to the city willingly and received the blessing of the people for doing so.
This snapshot in the history of Israel is a reminder of the importance of proximity in biblical community. Often it is necessary for believers to physically relocate due to jobs, schools or family needs. Many times, the consideration for where to live is determined by housing costs, neighborhoods, quality of schools or other factors. What if more Christians determined where to live based upon how close they would be to the church of their membership? In order for churches to remain healthy, it is important for its members to maintain a close brotherhood. This is enhanced when members actually live close to each other and support the work of the church. Consider what you can do to gather around fellow church members more often.
JUST A THOUGHT: The closer we are the stronger we are.
Thanks for another great poem based on God’s Word Deborah Ann.
Living in the past,
is so easy to do . . .
it’s not hard to recall
the bad things done to you.
Letting go is not so simple,
there’s no effort in hanging on
and to forget the past images
takes an awful lot of brawn.
So, we live with the despair,
the heartaches and the pain
and the peace God promised
our misery will only drain.
It’s not until we come,
to a place where we forgive
that we find the tranquility
in which God wants us to live.
So, if you are in the shackles,
which bind you to the past
let Jesus release your burden
and you’ll be free at last!
“Cast thy burden upon the Lord,
and he shall sustain thee:
he shall never suffer the
righteous to be moved.”
Copyright 2013 Revised 2019
Deborah Ann Belka
If God has words for us to say, we don’t need to ever be afraid.
Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.
by Mark Clements
Tuesday, April 16
The People Promise an Offering
“For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the offering of the corn, of the new wine, and the oil, unto the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests that minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God,” Nehemiah 10:39.
As God began rejuvenating the faith of His people in Jerusalem, they began coming to the realization of the depth of their errors. Judgment had come to the land, and it all started because the people had begun to drift away from their faith in Jehovah. Once they realized the error of their ways, they began correcting their behavior beginning with their faith. As the rebuilding of the religious system continued, it became apparent that in order to support the sacrificial religious duties, the people should resume their contributions to the Temple. When they realized the spiritual connection between their hearts and their contributions, the people, from the commoner to the priest, vowed to give what was necessary to see the worship of God resume.
There is a connection between our faith and our pocketbooks. As we grow in our faith and learn of God’s expectations of us, we begin to realize that living lives that bring glory to God costs us something. We have each been blessed by God with time, energy and resources. When we become stingy with what God has given, we tend to end up in distressing trials similar to Jerusalem in Nehemiah’s day. Following God requires sacrifice, but those who have had their hearts rejuvenated by God are willing to commit every resource necessary for the continuance of God’s work. We should see our sacrifices to God as a privilege in partnership with Him in His work.
JUST A THOUGHT: It is an honor to commit to God what He has given to us.
No matter the ruin we may think we have made of things, our Lord will always rescue us if we turn to Him. No mess we make exceeds His ability to clean up. Thanks for this encouragement, Efua.
We all go through seasons of brokenness and we are sometimes tempted to believe that we are broken beyond repair. We see the remnant of us and the words ruin and condemned instantly comes to our minds. This feeling is even worse when it’s as a result of our choices especially when it’s something we were cautioned against. Someone who certainly know this feeling as well is Peter.
He was Jesus’ pal. He wasn’t just one of the twelve but also one of the three. We always read Peter, James and John … in the bible. He saw miracles that Jesus did first hand. Jesus used his boat to preach. He was with Jesus at the mountain of transfiguration. He saw Jesus confirmed as God’s son by God Himself in that moment. Jesus healed his mother-in-law. He witnessed the feeding of the five thousand. How Jesus turned water into wine…
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One glorious day Jesus, our groom, will leave His Fathers house to come to claim us, His bride.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.