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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

Category

Encouragement

Christian-Christian Relationships

A great post on encouraging one another by Noah Aadjei

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Scripture Reading: Hebrews 10:23–24.

Introduction:

The religion of Christ superior to all others:

1. It is different and superior primarily in its attitude toward, and treatment of, one another

2. It may be of interest to you in your study to know that “one another” and “each other” are found 213 times in the New Testament.

3. It always considers the other person first. This is a mark of Christian maturity.

a. “That you may grow up in him in all things” (Ephesians 4:15).

b. We do not always exhibit true Christianity in our relationships with one another.

Our relationship to God must be right. So, also, must our relationship with each other. This defines the whole course of the religion of Christ in our lives.

Discussion:

Some things we ought not to do toward one another:

1. We should not wrong or injure one another (Acts 7:26). “Let us not quarrel, for we be brethren.” This can be done by words and deeds. It may even be done by neglect and ignoring our brethren. Someone has said, ”I never knew how cruel just common talk can be. I thought that words were singing things with color like the sea. But since I felt their caustic lash and know how they can sting, I hold my breath when words go by for fear they will not sing.”

2. We must not judge and accuse one another (Romans 2:1, 14; 14:13).

3. Christians ought not to be puffed up and arrogant with one another (I Corinthians 4:6). Please consult several translations for help in the understanding of these words.

4. Christians should not have “matters against one another” (I Corinthians 6:1). This is a dispute. If they do, it should be settled with the help of one another (brethren in the family of God). Otherwise, it is a shame.

5. Brethren must not bite and devour one another (Galatians 5:15). Literally, “eat one another down.”

Read the rest of the post here: Christian-Christian Relationships

Throwback Thursday-Left Behind, Will There Be a Rapture?

Another older one, just for the memories. Blessings and enjoy!

throw back thursday

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I read the article below earlier and it really started me thinking about some things. I hope readers are not disappointed, as we really are not going to cover any debate on whether there will or will not be a rapture. One might call this a bait and switch article. The article that got me thinking was written by Jim Denison, a columnist for Christianpost.com

The Left Behind series is a publishing phenomenon, with 16 books and $65 million in sales. Three movies have been based on the series; today’s Left Behind makes the fourth. In it, Nicolas Cage plays a pilot who attempts to calm his surviving passengers high above the Atlantic after the believers have been raptured. Other well-known actors include Lea Thompson, Jordin Sparks, and Nicky Whelan.

The movie is based on the doctrine of the “rapture” (from the Latin rapturo, to take out). There are various versions of the rapture, but they have in common the belief that Christians will be removed from the world by God during the “end times

via ‘Left Behind:’ Will There Be a Rapture?.

As I said, reading the above article really made me think. The writer made some great points, and I want to expand on them here. There are many views on the timing and particulars of the return of Jesus Christ. As the writer above pointed out, there are numerous views concerning both the truth and timing of this event.

The truth is, not all believe the same things concerning the Rapture, the Tribulation or the Millenium. There are many compelling arguments to support different viewpoints on the subject. We can believe differently on these issues without anybody being branded as a heretic. The one thing that remains true, and must remain true if we are to be considered correctly believing Christians:

Jesus is coming back!

I need to say up front, there is nothing wrong with scholarly study of the Bible. In fact, Scripture is crystal clear that we are to study and meditate on the inspired writings it contains. The study of Scripture, however, is not the end goal; it is simply a tool we use in order to reach the real objective. If our lives are full of study with no application, then it has been wasted time. Scripture is to change us, not just make us smarter and more knowledgeable about it. James taught us this idea clearly in James 1:23,24. If we look into the mirror of God’s Word and do nothing, it is like a man looking in a mirror and seeing what needs to be fixed but walking away without fixing it.

Jesus took one last opportunity to teach His disciples on the Mount of Olives shortly before His ascension; He was asked by them if The Kingdom would be set up at that time.  His answer? “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons.”

It was shortly thereafter that Jesus ascended into Heaven. Even then, the disciples simply stood there staring until two angels appeared and reminded them that they had work to do, and also that Jesus would return just as He had left.  Read the whole story here.

Now on to the actual point of this article. This quote from the original article I read simply captured me and provided the jump off point for this article.

“Here’s what matters: Jesus is coming back. No one knows when. We have only today to be ready. Whether he raptures the church before (or during, or after) a Great Tribulation, or returns to begin the millennium, or simply returns to end history and begin eternity, is not the practical question. You and I have no say in the matter. We are on the preparation committee, not the planning committee. Our job is to be ready when he comes, however he comes.”

What, then, are we to be preparing for?

  • We have a wedding to prepare for. Revelation 19:7-10 describes John’s vision of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. It is here that The Lamb(Christ) will marry His bride, the Bride of Christ. We aren’t going to discuss here who is and is not the bride, as it’s really not important to this discussion. Verse 7, however does say “His wife hath made herself ready.” How are we to be making ourselves ready? These verses give us some clues.
  • We have a judgment to face. We all know the judgment of God will pass onto all unbelievers for their unbelief. Believers will be judged also. We will not be judged to determine our final destination; that determination is made only while we are still living. We will be judged to give an account of our lives and how we lived them for Jesus.
  • We have a world to evangelize. God has not left us here simply to enjoy ourselves. He wants us restored to him and that is why He patiently waits until His chosen time. See 2 Peter 3:9 for Peter’s teaching on this idea. Back in Acts 1, right after all of the questions on His return, Jesus had told them their mission was to “be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

There is a commonly quoted saying, “Some people are so Heavenly minded that they are no Earthly good.” Is that true for us? Are we so busy debating and considering the times, places and events surrounding the return of Jesus Christ that we have forgotten what the real issue is? He is returning, that is simply not debatable. The question is: Are we ready?

  • Are you lost? If you are not saved, you are not ready. Repent today; turn from your sin. Accept Jesus’ payment for your sin and His role as Savior and Lord of your life.
  • Are you saved? Remember what is coming. Are you preparing to be a good Bride? Will you be told “Well done, good and faithful servant” when you face Jesus? Are you reaching out to a lost and dying world with the Gospel?

 

Elihu’s #Encourage Marathon-Days 6-10

Here are days 6-10 of my friend Elihu’s Encourage Marathon. Blessings and enjoy!

Coming glory (Day 6 of the #encourage marathon)

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Run with Endurance (day 7 of #encourage marathon)

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Lift those drooping hands! (Day 8 of the #encourage marathon)

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Run with discipline (day 9 of #encourage marathon)

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Do not grow weary. (Day 10 of the #encourage marathon)

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Who Are We Listening To?

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Psalm 1:1-3

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

This Psalm seems well placed in the very beginning of this great book of wisdom.  Here we see a clear description of the blessings to those saved by the grace of God, and the coming judgment of those not saved by the grace of God.

Even though the first part of this passage seems clearly written to those already blessed by the grace of God, it still contains some great lessons for us. It offer some great wisdom on some things we should avoid, what we should be doing instead, and some of the positive results if we follow the writer’s good counsel.

In verse 1 we can almost see a progression. I will tell you readers, I have SEEN this progression. I have watched it happen right here in the blogosphere, and I have seen it occur in real life. What is the progression?

We listen to the wrong people. Where do we get our guidance, wisdom, and counsel? Who do we turn to when we don’t know what to do? Do we turn to God Himself through His Word and prayer? Do we turn to Godly brothers and sisters? If those are our sources, we will be blessed. Our problem begins when we listen too closely to those who do not believe, and cannot understand, the Word of God.

We associate with the wrong people. Standing in the way of sinners here doesn’t refer to standing against them, but rather with them as participants in the things they do. This is also not a warning not to reach out to sinners to share Jesus with them, This is along the lines of being in the world but not of the world. The danger here is that first we associate too closely with the world, begin to excuse what goes on there, then ultimately join right in as eager participants.

Eventually, we sit with the scoffers and may even become scoffers ourselves. Scoffers. Those who don’t just disbelieve, or doubt, but seek ways to mock and ridicule God, the things of God, and the people of God. These are the ones who seek out those to mock, harass, and ridicule.

Is this progression stoppable, or reversible? Certainly it is, and our Psalm tells us how:

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

If we do that, then:

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

So, the slide has begun, and it has progressed to that final point. What now?

Friend, if you were one of His, you still are. No man can judge that, or the state of your heart. None of us know what God knows, so we cannot say. But what can be said is that, like the prodigal son, if you belong to Him He awaits you with open arms to return.

If you weren’t His to begin with, and as I said no other person can know that but you, the same is true. He still awaits with open arms not to welcome you back, but to welcome you IN.

Won’t you come today?

Doubt. Defeat. Despair.

My blogging friend Elihu always posts things which have very real applications to real lives. This one is no exception. Blessings and enjoy!


 

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“Its only Monday, and already my week is falling apart,” She thought to herself

She raked slender fingers through her long hair, willing the movement to ease her tensed nerves. Her heart seemed to gravitate towards the ground. Why couldn’t something go right for a change?

As the minutes ticked by, the room grew darker until she realized her own hands were barely visible. The encroaching darkness brought relief, but only for a moment. Tomorrow she would have to face the catastrophe reverberating from today’s events.

Seized with sorrow, she sank to her knees and wept.

Plagued with doubt. Overwhelmingly defeated. Dogged by despair.

She lifted her hands to pray, her words only audible to the One who could hear the desperate cry flowing from a burdened heart.

“Why, Lord?” she gasped through tears, “Why?”…..Read the rest of the post here: Doubt. Defeat. Despair.

Never Give Up!

Here is my evening sharing of a post I read during the day which really struck me. Here is some wonderful writing on the importance of staying firm even when things are tough. Comments disabled here, so head over to Karina’s place and share what you think!

Karina's Thought

NEVER GIVE UP - Karina's Thought

There are so many things that could inspire me to write something. My post this evening inspired by a true story of a pedestrian named Edward Payson Weston. He did several trips by walk in the several years and the longest traveling he did was in 1909. At the age of 70, he was walking along the 4000 miles from New York to San Francisco in a hundred days. It was a very remarkable achievement! A feat that may not be able rivaled by us who younger than him and of course it was a hard adventure! I strongly believe Weston experienced so many hard problems during his trip. In an interview he said: “There are times when my legs felt very sick. I almost gave up and stop this trip. The biggest problem that almost made me give up not feeling tired, not too very long distances up…

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Daily Devotion-May 19,2015-Love, If You Have it You Probably Are His!

1 John 4:15,16

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.


Since yesterday’s devotion might not have been particularly uplifting, we are heading a different direction this morning. In case readers did not read yesterday’s, we discussed the possibility that a lack of expressed love in one’s life and conduct might be a warning sign that a person might question their actual personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Today, we are going to briefly discuss the opposite condition. Let’s review love again very briefly. We have talked about love as a feeling we have towards particular people. In other words, there is “love” as expressed towards those we like, those we might be simply duty bound to love and those who will return something to us. We should all know by now, that is not the definition God uses for love. His love in an action based, self sacrificial love and is modeled on the actions of His Son Jesus Christ.

Can an unsaved person love extensively? Of course they can. The world is full of lost people who show great acts of love. Can an unsaved person love self sacrificially? Of course they can. History is full of examples of that. Is it likely that an unsaved person will live a lifestyle of self sacrificing love towards every single person they meet? Probably not; in fact, the odds are slim that most saved people could do that on a continuous basis.

However, read our verse. Dwelling in love could be defined as constantly living a state of self sacrificing love toward all those around you. And understand, that may also mean simply desiring to live that life, because as sinners we still fail daily. If that is true, then further reading reveals some encouraging news. A person who dwells in love, dwells in God, who dwells in that person.

So, while a lack of self sacrificing love in one’s life could be cause for worry; the presence of it as a lifestyle should be a very strong encouragement for a person to rest comfortably in their salvation through Jesus Christ.

Cuckoo for Coffee

Yesterday, Julie over at LIght and Life posted a great post about the God given joy of wonderful food. And another blogger, Sandra chimed in with some thoughts as well. We specifically got to talking about coffee.

Now, I love coffee. I love coffee in every variety and of every type. I don’t love so much the Starbucks kind of coffee, although it has its place. My Keurig Coffee maker and I are best friends. Well, ok, we are very close friends. My actual best friend is my Thermos which I use to carry coffee with me during the work day.

When do I drink coffee? When does the Earth spin on its axis? Odds are high that if I am awake I will have a cup, although I do try to cut myself off around 7 at night. It’s not the caffeine that wakes me up, it’s the bathroom breaks!

Did I mention I love coffee?

Ok, now let’s get serious for a few moments. God gave me coffee. Back in eternity past God, as He looked to the future, knew I would be here and He knew how much I would love coffee. That concept itself makes my head hurt, but it is a fact.

What had to happen to give me coffee? I’m no biologist, but some things had to happen to give me coffee. Even now, so many things in tandem have to occur just so that I can have a cup of coffee. How could those things have happened by random chance? The idea is preposterous!

God created the plant, which created the bean, which gave me coffee. God created the man who would some day find that those beans were really tasty when roasted and steeped in hot water. The list goes on, until eventually I have my Thermos filled.

God put many things here for us to enjoy, and He even implanted in us the desire to have and enjoy them. Food, beverages, sex, art, music; the list goes on and on. In fact, the list is all inclusive, because if it exists, it exists because God created it.

It’s not the desire itself, of even the things we desire that is the problem. Problem one comes when we enjoy anything in excess, inappropriately, or at the expense of God. Problem two is the converse to that, as that comes from excess legalism which causes us to say some things are wrong simply because they are enjoyable.

Just a Thought

I may have no control over my circumstances, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, I can always have control over myself in them.

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