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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

Category

Church Signs

Are We Really Too Busy?

A repeat, of a repeat of a repeat. Blessings and enjoy!

20141117_073247

How does God feel about Bible reading? Well, here are a few verses which place it pretty high on God’s priority list for Christian lives:

2 Timothy 3:16,17 God Himself literally “breathed out” every single word of Scripture and it is the only guide to faith we need.

Psalm 119:160 God’s Word is true and will last forever.

Matthew 4:4 God’s word is necessary for life, more so than literal bread.

Joshua 1:8 One of the greatest men of the Bible teaches us that if we meditate on God’s Word day and night, we will be rewarded.

2 Timothy 2:15 Here we are simply commanded to study God’s Word and why.

There are many, many more; in combination they clearly prove that God considers the daily reading, studying and meditating on His Word as something He wants Christians to do. To even try to debate that point would be beyond ludicrous, to tell the truth. So, everything in this post is written from that perspective. Why do I say that? Well, because some of what I say might seem to be inflexible to some readers; however, God’s own word teaches that He is pretty inflexible on that point Himself. Agreeing with God on areas He considers important is good policy, frankly.

So, then, just what is our problem? Here is some interesting data:

A couple of years ago, LifeWay Research released a study with some interesting findings.

The survey found 90 percent of churchgoers agree “I desire to please and honor Jesus in all I do,” and 59 percent agree with the statement: “Throughout the day I find myself thinking about biblical truths.” While the majority agree with both statements, there is a significant difference in the strength of agreement. Nearly two-thirds of churchgoers (64 percent) strongly agree with the first statement, but only 20 percent strongly agree with the second.

However, when asked how often they personally (not as part of a church worship service) read the Bible, a similar number respond “Every Day” (19 percent) as respond “Rarely/Never” (18 percent). A quarter indicate they read the Bible a few times a week. Fourteen percent say they read the Bible “Once a Week” and another 22 percent say “Once a Month” or “A Few Times a Month.” See the article here.

Here is some date from the American Bible Society:

If they do read it, the majority (57 percent) only read their Bibles four times a year or less. Only 26 percent of Americans said they read their Bible on a regular basis (four or more times a week). Read the article here.

So, again I ask, what’s our problem? We know what the problem is; I should have asked: What’s our excuse? Today, we are only talking about the, “I don’t have time” excuse. Here are some strategies that might be of some use for those readers really interested in getting with God’s program of daily time in His Word. For those NOT really interested, just move along I guess, as this won’t apply to you.

Commit to it. Our walk of faith is not accidental; it must be intentional. Remember Daniel? Early in his life Daniel and some friends were faced with a test of their faith. Most Christians know the story of Daniel and his friends refusing to eat the King’s meat. Daniel 1:8 tells us that Daniel “purposed in his heart” not to eat the meat offered by The King. The application here is that, for anything we want to accomplish for and through God, we still have to make an intentional decision to actually do it. Any talk of some daily study plan is irrelevant if we aren’t committed to doing it.

Make choices. The truth is, there are only 24 hours in a day; that is just a fact and a reality. We all make choices daily about the things we get to do or do not get to do. In some cases, it may be as simple as deciding which TV show to watch. We can’t watch two at once, so we choose. Do we go to this party or that party? The list goes on and on. We choose to not do things because of time every single day.

How do we decide? We decide based on what is important to us; we decide on based on what matters to us; we decide based on what will bring us the most payoff and once again the list goes on and on. Because we have committed to some things, choosing them becomes quite easy. The same is true for daily Bible study; if we commit to it, then we have to make the choice of what NOT to do to make room for it.

Pick a time; make it a habit. How many things do we have a time assigned at which we do it? Once again, television comes to mind. I know people who would no more miss Monday Night Football than they would skip eating for a week. What about work? Most of us have a particular time we have to report in. The point is, we have a time at which we do those things. That time belongs to those things, and because of that we do them. They are habits.

The time doesn’t matter; pick what works. But do pick, and assign that time and don’t allow another thing to infringe or take that time. I like really early in the morning. It’s all mine, as nobody else is awake then. It’s quiet, as nobody else is awake then. It also happens to be the time of day when I am freshest and most able to concentrate. It is my most effective time of the day, and I feel God deserves my best time. And that’s not just my opinion, I got it from God, who has made many references to us giving Him our firstfruits in His Word. Get a Concordance and check out firstfruits if you don’t believe me.

Now, let’s sum up. The sign said, “If you’re too busy to read the Bible, you’re too busy.” That is simply true and non negotiable. I say non negotiable because that is how God sees it, and that seals it. I can cook up justification otherwise until the day ends, and I would simply be wrong. And guess what? If you do that, you are wrong as well.

So, commit to it, make choices, pick your time and begin a new habit that I promise will transform your Christian walk.

 

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There Is No Night There

My Wednesday morning post from over at the Isaiah 53:5 Project

no night there

Revelation 21:4

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Revelation 22:5

And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

Heaven, now there is a great topic! It’s what believers, saved by the Grace of God, look forward to. We may not be in a hurry to get there, but we should be looking forward to it. What will heaven be like for sure? Well, I don’t know, and neither do you. We can only say with certainty what The Bible tells us, and that is, really, not that much. Not much in the specifics, but quite a lot in the generalities.

We all know it will be wonderful,………Read the rest of the post here:There Is No Night There | The Isaiah 53:5 Project

Giving Thanks-Psalm 100

This post originally posted over at the Isaiah 53:5 Project. Please head over and take a look at the great collaborative work being done there for God’s honor and glory


Seen on a Church Sign

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving……..Psalm 100:4

Today is another installment in my church sign series. Since I drive so many places daily, in the middle of the Bible Belt, this series will certainly be a never ending one. This particular post has appeared before, but is appropriate at any time.

Psalm 100 is a great one. Okay, they are all great, but right about now it seems extra great!

So, just what should we be thankful for? The answer is all things whether good, bad or indifferent. Did you put your feet on the floor this morning under your own power? Give thanks. Were you only able to open your eyes and look up at the ceiling? Give thanks.

Thank Him for the fact that we are even here. Remember that little verse, “In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth?” If He had opted not to do that, we would not even be here.

Obviously, thank Him for the blessings in our lives. Food, clothes, jobs, family and this list goes on and on. If we believe what we say we believe, then we have to acknowledge they all came from God. Remember this?

James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

Thank God for the not so seemingly blessed things. In other words, thank Him for the trials. They likely have a purpose, even if we don’t understand it. Again let’s go to the Book of James:

James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Finally, the thing for which we should be most thankful is the gift of salvation God offers through His Son Jesus Christ. Did you know that God loves you? Did you also know that without His Son we are all doomed? Did you know that the famous John 3:16 actually doesn’t stand alone but has some very important information following? Read and see:

John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

God loves us with all of His divine heart. If fact, He loves us this much; knowing from eternity past we would be rebellious sinners, He made away for us to be saved anyway:

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Yes we have all failed Him and we are all sinners by nature and choice:

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

The outlook is grim, “For the wages of sin is death“, but God made us a solution,”but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” That was all Romans 6:23. It’s easy, confess your sin, repent of it, and ask for His salvation. It’s that easy. Who can be saved? See

Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

I would say that is something to be thankful for; that is, if you have it. If not, you can today, just read above my friend.

Let’s go back to our Psalm briefly.

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Giving Thanks-Psalm 100 | The Isaiah 53:5 Project.

Seen On a Church Sign-Are We Really Too Busy?

This post was previously published on November 19, 2014

Seen on a church sign

If you’re too busy to read the Bible, you’re too busy!

How does God feel about Bible reading? Well, here are a few verses which place it pretty high on God’s priority list for Christian lives:

2 Timothy 3:16,17 God Himself literally “breathed out” every single word of Scripture and it is the only guide to faith we need.

Psalm 119:160 God’s Word is true and will last forever.

Matthew 4:4 God’s word is necessary for life, more so than literal bread.

Joshua 1:8 One of the greatest men of the Bible teaches us that if we meditate on God’s Word day and night, we will be rewarded.

2 Timothy 2:15 Here we are simply commanded to study God’s Word and why.

There are many, many more; in combination they clearly prove that God considers the daily reading, studying and meditating on His Word as something He wants Christians to do. To even try to debate that point would be beyond ludicrous, to tell the truth. So, everything in this post is written from that perspective. Why do I say that? Well, because some of what I say might seem to be inflexible to some readers; however, God’s own word teaches that He is pretty inflexible on that point Himself. Agreeing with God on areas He considers important is good policy, frankly.

So, then, just what is our problem? Here is some interesting data:

A couple of years ago, LifeWay Research released a study with some interesting findings.

The survey found 90 percent of churchgoers agree “I desire to please and honor Jesus in all I do,” and 59 percent agree with the statement: “Throughout the day I find myself thinking about biblical truths.” While the majority agree with both statements, there is a significant difference in the strength of agreement. Nearly two-thirds of churchgoers (64 percent) strongly agree with the first statement, but only 20 percent strongly agree with the second.

However, when asked how often they personally (not as part of a church worship service) read the Bible, a similar number respond “Every Day” (19 percent) as respond “Rarely/Never” (18 percent). A quarter indicate they read the Bible a few times a week. Fourteen percent say they read the Bible “Once a Week” and another 22 percent say “Once a Month” or “A Few Times a Month.” See the article here.

Here is some date from the American Bible Society:

If they do read it, the majority (57 percent) only read their Bibles four times a year or less. Only 26 percent of Americans said they read their Bible on a regular basis (four or more times a week). Read the article here.

So, again I ask, what’s our problem? We know what the problem is; I should have asked: What’s our excuse? Today, we are only talking about the, “I don’t have time” excuse. Here are some strategies that might be of some use for those readers really interested in getting with God’s program of daily time in His Word. For those NOT really interested, just move along I guess, as this won’t apply to you.

Commit to it. Our walk of faith is not accidental; it must be intentional. Remember Daniel? Early in his life Daniel and some friends were faced with a test of their faith. Most Christians know the story of Daniel and his friends refusing to eat the King’s meat. Daniel 1:8 tells us that Daniel “purposed in his heart” not to eat the meat offered by The King. The application here is that, for anything we want to accomplish for and through God, we still have to make an intentional decision to actually do it. Any talk of some daily study plan is irrelevant if we aren’t committed to doing it.

Make choices. The truth is, there are only 24 hours in a day; that is just a fact and a reality. We all make choices daily about the things we get to do or do not get to do. In some cases, it may be as simple as deciding which TV show to watch. We can’t watch two at once, so we choose. Do we go to this party or that party? The list goes on and on. We choose to not do things because of time every single day.

How do we decide? We decide based on what is important to us; we decide on based on what matters to us; we decide based on what will bring us the most payoff and once again the list goes on and on. Because we have committed to some things, choosing them becomes quite easy. The same is true for daily Bible study; if we commit to it, then we have to make the choice of what NOT to do to make room for it.

Pick a time; make it a habit. How many things do we have a time assigned at which we do it? Once again, television comes to mind. I know people who would no more miss Monday Night Football than they would skip eating for a week. What about work? Most of us have a particular time we have to report in. The point is, we have a time at which we do those things. That time belongs to those things, and because of that we do them. They are habits.

The time doesn’t matter; pick what works. But do pick, and assign that time and don’t allow another thing to infringe or take that time. I like really early in the morning. It’s all mine, as nobody else is awake then. It’s quiet, as nobody else is awake then. It also happens to be the time of day when I am freshest and most able to concentrate. It is my most effective time of the day, and I feel God deserves my best time. And that’s not just my opinion, I got it from God, who has made many references to us giving Him our firstfruits in His Word. Get a Concordance and check out firstfruits if you don’t believe me.

Now, let’s sum up. The sign said, “If you’re too busy to read the Bible, you’re too busy.” That is simply true and non negotiable. I say non negotiable because that is how God sees it, and that seals it. I can cook up justification otherwise until the day ends, and I would simply be wrong. And guess what? If you do that, you are wrong as well.

So, commit to it, make choices, pick your time and begin a new habit that I promise will transform your Christian walk.

 

Seen On a Church Sign-Are You Ready?

 

Seen On a Church Sign

Jesus is coming, perhaps today. Are you ready?


John 14:4

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.

Acts 1:11

Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.


Jesus is coming back; that is a fact. He told us; God’s angels told us. Scripture is replete with the concept and theme that Jesus will be returning.

There are many, many views about the wheres and whens of Jesus’ return. We aren’t covering those here. It’s really not relevant to this post. We will talk about judgment also; there are many opinions about the wheres and whens of those also. Guess what? We aren’t covering that debate either! It’s not relevant to this post. No matter what we believe about the timing of certain things, there are issues that we all need to think about in preparation for the return of Jesus.

Everybody needs to think about these things. Believers and non believers alike have issues to consider.

Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

We all will bow, we all will confess. All of us, no exceptions.

To the non believers

We are all sinners. I am, you are; we all are. God is perfect and we are not. We all have fallen short and missed the mark of God’s perfection.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

God not only set the bar for what sin is; He set the penalty for it as well.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death……….

Yes, the penalty for our sin, any sin, is death. The penalty is eternal separation from God in a place called hell. Why separation, you may ask? God cannot abide or look upon our sin; it is outside His nature as perfect and Holy.

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

God, however, loves us with a love we cannot even grasp or understand. He loves us enough to literally give Himself to us as a sacrifice to pay our penalty. He loves us despite the fact that we have rejected Him; He knew we would be sinners and loved us enough to provide us a way.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Friends, you can never make yourself good enough to earn your way to God. Our salvation is only by the Grace of God, through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.  It is a gift from God, to us.

Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

What must we do then, to be saved? The answer is repentance toward God and faith in The Lord Jesus Christ. We don’t DO anything, but we do believe some things. We sometimes teach kids the ABCs of Salvation, and they are pretty good for grown ups to.

A  Admit you are a sinner before God. Agree with God about the wrongness of your sin.

B  Believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross and was resurrected in three days, paying the penalty you should have paid.

C  Confess Him. We have to ask God for Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. We have to ask Him to become Lord and Savior of our lives.

What does Paul say about this in Romans?

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved

It is just that easy. You don’t need to be a theologian; you may not even have a Bible. You don’t have to do anything, so quit trying.

To Believers

Guess what friends? As believers, we face a judgment as well. We do not face a judgement for our sins; we do not face a judgment to determine whether or not we are heaven or hell bound. We make that decision only here on Earth, while we are still living. That is true for us all, by the way. Saved or unsaved, we only have the chance to decide while we are still breathing; the instant we stop that, our eternal destiny is sealed forever.

What then, are believers judged for and what happens? We are judged for the work we have done for Jesus while we were alive and are rewarded accordingly. We are not punished for sins at our judgment but are rewarded for our works. Or, not rewarded for our lack of works. We may very well arrive at the Judgment Seat of Christ and find we don’t get any rewards.

Let’s look at a couple of places where this concept is taught:

Romans 14:10-12 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

2 John 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

I wrote a lengthier post on the Judgment Seat of Christ in this article,  “Crowns in Heaven-How’s That Work?

As I stated earlier, we may disagree on certain aspects concerning the Return of Jesus; this post was not for the purpose of debating all of that.  What really matters?

Romans 14:11  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Philippians 2:10,11 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

That is what matters. Someday all of us, lost and saved will bow the knee and confess Jesus.

Are you Ready?

This post was previously published

Seen On a Church Sign-Are You Ready?

Seen On a Church Sign

Jesus is coming, perhaps today. Are you ready?

John 14:4

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.

Acts 1:11

Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.


Jesus is coming back; that is a fact. He told us; God’s angels told us. Scripture is replete with the concept and theme that Jesus will be returning.

There are many, many views about the wheres and whens of Jesus’ return. We aren’t covering those here. It’s really not relevant to this post. We will talk about judgment also; there are many opinions about the wheres and whens of those also. Guess what? We aren’t covering that debate either! It’s not relevant to this post. No matter what we believe about the timing of certain things, there are issues that we all need to think about in preparation for the return of Jesus.

Everybody needs to think about these things. Believers and non believers alike have issues to consider.

Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

We all will bow, we all will confess. All of us, no exceptions.

To the non believers

We are all sinners. I am, you are; we all are. God is perfect and we are not. We all have fallen short and missed the mark of God’s perfection.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

God not only set the bar for what sin is; He set the penalty for it as well.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death……….

Yes, the penalty for our sin, any sin, is death. The penalty is eternal separation from God in a place called hell. Why separation, you may ask? God cannot abide or look upon our sin; it is outside His nature as perfect and Holy.

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

God, however, loves us with a love we cannot even grasp or understand. He loves us enough to literally give Himself to us as a sacrifice to pay our penalty. He loves us despite the fact that we have rejected Him; He knew we would be sinners and loved us enough to provide us a way.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Friends, you can never make yourself good enough to earn your way to God. Our salvation is only by the Grace of God, through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.  It is a gift from God, to us.

Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

What must we do then, to be saved? The answer is repentance toward God and faith in The Lord Jesus Christ. We don’t DO anything, but we do believe some things. We sometimes teach kids the ABCs of Salvation, and they are pretty good for grown ups to.

A  Admit you are a sinner before God. Agree with God about the wrongness of your sin.

B  Believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross and was resurrected in three days, paying the penalty you should have paid.

C  Confess Him. We have to ask God for Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. We have to ask Him to become Lord and Savior of our lives.

What does Paul say about this in Romans?

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved

It is just that easy. You don’t need to be a theologian; you may not even have a Bible. You don’t have to do anything, so quit trying.

To Believers

Guess what friends? As believers, we face a judgment as well. We do not face a judgement for our sins; we do not face a judgment to determine whether or not we are heaven or hell bound. We make that decision only here on Earth, while we are still living. That is true for us all, by the way. Saved or unsaved, we only have the chance to decide while we are still breathing; the instant we stop that, our eternal destiny is sealed forever.

What then, are believers judged for and what happens? We are judged for the work we have done for Jesus while we were alive and are rewarded accordingly. We are not punished for sins at our judgment but are rewarded for our works. Or, not rewarded for our lack of works. We may very well arrive at the Judgment Seat of Christ and find we don’t get any rewards.

Let’s look at a couple of places where this concept is taught:

Romans 14:10-12 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

2 John 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

I wrote a lengthier post on the Judgment Seat of Christ in this article,  “Crowns in Heaven-How’s That Work?

As I stated earlier, we may disagree on certain aspects concerning the Return of Jesus; this post was not for the purpose of debating all of that.  What really matters?

Romans 14:11  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Philippians 2:10,11 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

That is what matters. Someday all of us, lost and saved will bow the knee and confess Jesus.

Are you Ready?

Seen On a Church Sign-Are We Really Too Busy?

This post was previously published on November 19, 2014

Seen on a church sign

If you’re too busy to read the Bible, you’re too busy!

How does God feel about Bible reading? Well, here are a few verses which place it pretty high on God’s priority list for Christian lives:

2 Timothy 3:16,17 God Himself literally “breathed out” every single word of Scripture and it is the only guide to faith we need.

Psalm 119:160 God’s Word is true and will last forever.

Matthew 4:4 God’s word is necessary for life, more so than literal bread.

Joshua 1:8 One of the greatest men of the Bible teaches us that if we meditate on God’s Word day and night, we will be rewarded.

2 Timothy 2:15 Here we are simply commanded to study God’s Word and why.

There are many, many more; in combination they clearly prove that God considers the daily reading, studying and meditating on His Word as something He wants Christians to do. To even try to debate that point would be beyond ludicrous, to tell the truth. So, everything in this post is written from that perspective. Why do I say that? Well, because some of what I say might seem to be inflexible to some readers; however, God’s own word teaches that He is pretty inflexible on that point Himself. Agreeing with God on areas He considers important is good policy, frankly.

So, then, just what is our problem? Here is some interesting data:

A couple of years ago, LifeWay Research released a study with some interesting findings.

The survey found 90 percent of churchgoers agree “I desire to please and honor Jesus in all I do,” and 59 percent agree with the statement: “Throughout the day I find myself thinking about biblical truths.” While the majority agree with both statements, there is a significant difference in the strength of agreement. Nearly two-thirds of churchgoers (64 percent) strongly agree with the first statement, but only 20 percent strongly agree with the second.

However, when asked how often they personally (not as part of a church worship service) read the Bible, a similar number respond “Every Day” (19 percent) as respond “Rarely/Never” (18 percent). A quarter indicate they read the Bible a few times a week. Fourteen percent say they read the Bible “Once a Week” and another 22 percent say “Once a Month” or “A Few Times a Month.” See the article here.

Here is some date from the American Bible Society:

If they do read it, the majority (57 percent) only read their Bibles four times a year or less. Only 26 percent of Americans said they read their Bible on a regular basis (four or more times a week). Read the article here.

So, again I ask, what’s our problem? We know what the problem is; I should have asked: What’s our excuse? Today, we are only talking about the, “I don’t have time” excuse. Here are some strategies that might be of some use for those readers really interested in getting with God’s program of daily time in His Word. For those NOT really interested, just move along I guess, as this won’t apply to you.

Commit to it. Our walk of faith is not accidental; it must be intentional. Remember Daniel? Early in his life Daniel and some friends were faced with a test of their faith. Most Christians know the story of Daniel and his friends refusing to eat the King’s meat. Daniel 1:8 tells us that Daniel “purposed in his heart” not to eat the meat offered by The King. The application here is that, for anything we want to accomplish for and through God, we still have to make an intentional decision to actually do it. Any talk of some daily study plan is irrelevant if we aren’t committed to doing it.

Make choices. The truth is, there are only 24 hours in a day; that is just a fact and a reality. We all make choices daily about the things we get to do or do not get to do. In some cases, it may be as simple as deciding which TV show to watch. We can’t watch two at once, so we choose. Do we go to this party or that party? The list goes on and on. We choose to not do things because of time every single day.

How do we decide? We decide based on what is important to us; we decide on based on what matters to us; we decide based on what will bring us the most payoff and once again the list goes on and on. Because we have committed to some things, choosing them becomes quite easy. The same is true for daily Bible study; if we commit to it, then we have to make the choice of what NOT to do to make room for it.

Pick a time; make it a habit. How many things do we have a time assigned at which we do it? Once again, television comes to mind. I know people who would no more miss Monday Night Football than they would skip eating for a week. What about work? Most of us have a particular time we have to report in. The point is, we have a time at which we do those things. That time belongs to those things, and because of that we do them. They are habits.

The time doesn’t matter; pick what works. But do pick, and assign that time and don’t allow another thing to infringe or take that time. I like really early in the morning. It’s all mine, as nobody else is awake then. It’s quiet, as nobody else is awake then. It also happens to be the time of day when I am freshest and most able to concentrate. It is my most effective time of the day, and I feel God deserves my best time. And that’s not just my opinion, I got it from God, who has made many references to us giving Him our firstfruits in His Word. Get a Concordance and check out firstfruits if you don’t believe me.

Now, let’s sum up. The sign said, “If you’re too busy to read the Bible, you’re too busy.” That is simply true and non negotiable. I say non negotiable because that is how God sees it, and that seals it. I can cook up justification otherwise until the day ends, and I would simply be wrong. And guess what? If you do that, you are wrong as well.

So, commit to it, make choices, pick your time and begin a new habit that I promise will transform your Christian walk.

 

Seen On a Church Sign-Are You Ready?

Seen On a Church Sign

Jesus is coming, perhaps today. Are you ready?


John 14:4

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.

Acts 1:11

Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.


Jesus is coming back; that is a fact. He told us; God’s angels told us. Scripture is replete with the concept and theme that Jesus will be returning.

There are many, many views about the wheres and whens of Jesus’ return. We aren’t covering those here. It’s really not relevant to this post. We will talk about judgment also; there are many opinions about the wheres and whens of those also. Guess what? We aren’t covering that debate either! It’s not relevant to this post. No matter what we believe about the timing of certain things, there are issues that we all need to think about in preparation for the return of Jesus.

Everybody needs to think about these things. Believers and non believers alike have issues to consider.

Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

We all will bow, we all will confess. All of us, no exceptions.

To the non believers

We are all sinners. I am, you are; we all are. God is perfect and we are not. We all have fallen short and missed the mark of God’s perfection.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

God not only set the bar for what sin is; He set the penalty for it as well.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death……….

Yes, the penalty for our sin, any sin, is death. The penalty is eternal separation from God in a place called hell. Why separation, you may ask? God cannot abide or look upon our sin; it is outside His nature as perfect and Holy.

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

God, however, loves us with a love we cannot even grasp or understand. He loves us enough to literally give Himself to us as a sacrifice to pay our penalty. He loves us despite the fact that we have rejected Him; He knew we would be sinners and loved us enough to provide us a way.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Friends, you can never make yourself good enough to earn your way to God. Our salvation is only by the Grace of God, through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.  It is a gift from God, to us.

Ephesians 2:8,9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

What must we do then, to be saved? The answer is repentance toward God and faith in The Lord Jesus Christ. We don’t DO anything, but we do believe some things. We sometimes teach kids the ABCs of Salvation, and they are pretty good for grown ups to.

A  Admit you are a sinner before God. Agree with God about the wrongness of your sin.

B  Believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross and was resurrected in three days, paying the penalty you should have paid.

C  Confess Him. We have to ask God for Salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. We have to ask Him to become Lord and Savior of our lives.

What does Paul say about this in Romans?

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved

It is just that easy. You don’t need to be a theologian; you may not even have a Bible. You don’t have to do anything, so quit trying.

To Believers

Guess what friends? As believers, we face a judgment as well. We do not face a judgement for our sins; we do not face a judgment to determine whether or not we are heaven or hell bound. We make that decision only here on Earth, while we are still living. That is true for us all, by the way. Saved or unsaved, we only have the chance to decide while we are still breathing; the instant we stop that, our eternal destiny is sealed forever.

What then, are believers judged for and what happens? We are judged for the work we have done for Jesus while we were alive and are rewarded accordingly. We are not punished for sins at our judgment but are rewarded for our works. Or, not rewarded for our lack of works. We may very well arrive at the Judgment Seat of Christ and find we don’t get any rewards.

Let’s look at a couple of places where this concept is taught:

Romans 14:10-12 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

2 John 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

I wrote a lengthier post on the Judgment Seat of Christ in this article,  “Crowns in Heaven-How’s That Work?

As I stated earlier, we may disagree on certain aspects concerning the Return of Jesus; this post was not for the purpose of debating all of that.  What really matters?

Romans 14:11  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

Philippians 2:10,11 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

That is what matters. Someday all of us, lost and saved will bow the knee and confess Jesus.

Are you Ready?

Are We Really Too Busy?

This post marks the start of a new thing for my blog. Due to the nature of my work, I spend a lot of time traveling various roads in Southeast Arkansas. There are many, many churches in Southeast Arkansas; this part of the country is not called the Bible Belt without good reason. Along with many, many churches come many, many church signs. Some are great, some are not so great. But most of them make us think things; that is why people post them.

I have lots of thoughts; my thoughts usually need to be articulated. I have lots to say, just ask anybody who knows me! So, here we go as I share with readers some of the thoughts I think about various church signs. I hope you enjoy the ride and perhaps even find it useful.

How does God feel about Bible reading? Well, here are a few verses which place it pretty high on God’s priority list for Christian lives:

2 Timothy 3:16,17 God Himself literally “breathed out” every single word of Scripture and it is the only guide to faith we need.

Psalm 119:160 God’s Word is true and will last forever.

Matthew 4:4 God’s word is necessary for life, more so than literal bread.

Joshua 1:8 One of the greatest men of the Bible teaches us that if we meditate on God’s Word day and night, we will be rewarded.

2 Timothy 2:15 Here we are simply commanded to study God’s Word and why.

There are many, many more; in combination they clearly prove that God considers the daily reading, studying and meditating on His Word as something He wants Christians to do. To even try to debate that point would be beyond ludicrous, to tell the truth. So, everything in this post is written from that perspective. Why do I say that? Well, because some of what I say might seem to be inflexible to some readers; however, God’s own word teaches that He is pretty inflexible on that point Himself. Agreeing with God on areas He considers important is good policy, frankly.

So, then, just what is our problem? Here is some interesting data:

A couple of years ago, LifeWay Research released a study with some interesting findings.

The survey found 90 percent of churchgoers agree “I desire to please and honor Jesus in all I do,” and 59 percent agree with the statement: “Throughout the day I find myself thinking about biblical truths.” While the majority agree with both statements, there is a significant difference in the strength of agreement. Nearly two-thirds of churchgoers (64 percent) strongly agree with the first statement, but only 20 percent strongly agree with the second.

However, when asked how often they personally (not as part of a church worship service) read the Bible, a similar number respond “Every Day” (19 percent) as respond “Rarely/Never” (18 percent). A quarter indicate they read the Bible a few times a week. Fourteen percent say they read the Bible “Once a Week” and another 22 percent say “Once a Month” or “A Few Times a Month.” See the article here.

Here is some date from the American Bible Society:

If they do read it, the majority (57 percent) only read their Bibles four times a year or less. Only 26 percent of Americans said they read their Bible on a regular basis (four or more times a week). Read the article here.

So, again I ask, what’s our problem? We know what the problem is; I should have asked: What’s our excuse? Today, we are only talking about the, “I don’t have time” excuse. Here are some strategies that might be of some use for those readers really interested in getting with God’s program of daily time in His Word. For those NOT really interested, just move along I guess, as this won’t apply to you.

Commit to it. Our walk of faith is not accidental; it must be intentional. Remember Daniel? Early in his life Daniel and some friends were faced with a test of their faith. Most Christians know the story of Daniel and his friends refusing to eat the King’s meat. Daniel 1:8 tells us that Daniel “purposed in his heart” not to eat the meat offered by The King. The application here is that, for anything we want to accomplish for and through God, we still have to make an intentional decision to actually do it. Any talk of some daily study plan is irrelevant if we aren’t committed to doing it.

Make choices. The truth is, there are only 24 hours in a day; that is just a fact and a reality. We all make choices daily about the things we get to do or do not get to do. In some cases, it may be as simple as deciding which TV show to watch. We can’t watch two at once, so we choose. Do we go to this party or that party? The list goes on and on. We choose to not do things because of time every single day.

How do we decide? We decide based on what is important to us; we decide on based on what matters to us; we decide based on what will bring us the most payoff and once again the list goes on and on. Because we have committed to some things, choosing them becomes quite easy. The same is true for daily Bible study; if we commit to it, then we have to make the choice of what NOT to do to make room for it.

Pick a time; make it a habit. How many things do we have a time assigned at which we do it? Once again, television comes to mind. I know people who would no more miss Monday Night Football than they would skip eating for a week. What about work? Most of us have a particular time we have to report in. The point is, we have a time at which we do those things. That time belongs to those things, and because of that we do them. They are habits.

The time doesn’t matter; pick what works. But do pick, and assign that time and don’t allow another thing to infringe or take that time. I like really early in the morning. It’s all mine, as nobody else is awake then. It’s quiet, as nobody else is awake then. It also happens to be the time of day when I am freshest and most able to concentrate. It is my most effective time of the day, and I feel God deserves my best time. And that’s not just my opinion, I got it from God, who has made many references to us giving Him our firstfruits in His Word. Get a Concordance and check out firstfruits if you don’t believe me.

Now, let’s sum up. The sign said, “If you’re too busy to read the Bible, you’re too busy.” That is simply true and non negotiable. I say non negotiable because that is how God sees it, and that seals it. I can cook up justification otherwise until the day ends, and I would simply be wrong. And guess what? If you do that, you are wrong as well.

So, commit to it, make choices, pick your time and begin a new habit that I promise will transform your Christian walk.

 

 

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