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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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Emptied out

Oh, if we would only give it ALL up to God, how much more joy we could have. Great thoughts here, Beth, thanks.

Beth and Jim Herring

“…but I have poured out my soul before the LORD.” (1 Samuel 1:15) NASB

These beautiful words came from the anguished heart of Hannah. Deep within her despairing spirit, a prayer came bursting forth as she petitioned God to open her womb and give her a child.

The scripture says she poured her soul out to the LORD. She poured her heart out. All of it. Every aching and hurting piece.

As I read this passage a few days ago, these words spoke to my spirit. They just kept replaying in my mind over and over and I began to consciously contemplate what God was speaking.

In our Christian walk, we are so prone to carefully pour little bits of ourselves out here and there as we feel is needed, but we are often guilty of withholding so much more.

We might pour a little bit of service out to…

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Sunday Prayer Questions Series: Table of Content

This was a great series you have written here brother Jim, and I am sharing it tonight in hopes someone can use it tomorrow.

The Domain for Truth

We have completed our three part Sunday mini-series on Sunday questions concerning prayers for the church that is prompted from the Scripture in Colossians 1:9-12.

Here’s the table of contents from this series:

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Scared Straight?

A rerun of a previous post which seems timely at the moment.

scared straight

I have seen some discussion lately concerning one particular topic and my mind seems to be bubbling over with some thoughts about it, so I am going to do as any serious blogger does:

Have thought will post.

The gist of the thought, most often presented by non believers, goes something like this:

You only believe because you are scared of going to Hell!

God says love Him or die, what kind of loving God would do that?

Threatening children with eternal punishment in Hell is just WRONG!

Okay, before I begin, allow me to be very clear in my position on this subject. This is not going to be a Bible lesson today, just my thoughts which I believe to be clearly taught in God’s Word.

To recap: I believe the God created us perfect in the Garden of Eden. Due to our willful rebellion and disobedience there, sin entered the world. I also believe that, due to that, we are all born with a sin nature, and that “all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.” I also believe there is a penalty for sin, because “the wages of sin is death.” In other words, I believe absolutely in eternal separation from God in a place called Hell due to our sins against His perfection and holiness. Shoot me..it’s what I believe is clearly taught in the Bible.

I also believe that, due to His great love for us, God provided an escape for us from this destiny. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Okay, so enough theology and on to the thoughts rambling through my head.

First the kids. Ok church, if you are out there screaming and hollering about burning in Hell to 5 year olds, I have just one thing to say to you…..STOP IT! That is wrong, cruel, and in the end not really productive. Any child who makes a profession of faith based on being constantly hammered withTURN OR BURN!” probably has not made a true profession of faith. While it is not the sole cause of those who abandon a faith that may not have been real in the first place, it is certainly a legitimate concern raised by non believers. Yep, I said that.

Having said that, let me also say that, as people progress in age, understanding and ability to discern, that I  think some fear is quite reasonable. We ought to be concerned about the fact that our sin has separated us from God and what the penalty for it is.  Perhaps this is somewhat out of context, but, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Part of coming to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus is repentance toward God; part of repentance is understanding what we have done, that it was wrong, and what we deserve for it.

But, the question remains: Do we only come to faith out of fear of Hell? Short answer; NO. First any profession built on no more than a fear of Hell coupled with a desire to get our “Get out of Hell free” ticket punched may or may not be real. After all, “Even the devils believe, and tremble.” Fear is simply not enough. I can only speak for my own personal experience, but I suspect it is a common one. Even when I came to understand the basic concept of eternal punishment, I still simply didn’t care! I was perfectly willing to continue to thumb my nose in God’s face and dare Him to send me packing off to Hell. I loved my sins more than I feared the punishment.

What then, causes us to make a decision concerning coming to a real, saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?

Love

That’s right, love.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

We love him, because he first loved us.

Again, I am only speaking from my own experience, but again I suspect it is common. It was not the fear of Hell which caused me to believe. It was only the later understanding that God loved me enough to actually provide a way to escape that which I feared that caused me to accept His offer of grace and forgiveness.

Repentance toward God. Yes we need to understand the wrongness of our sin and the consequences of it. Faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s the love which really brings us to salvation, not the fear. We have faith because God loved us “while we were yet sinners.” We have faith only because God put in in us to have the ability to choose Him. It is the love, and the faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ which produces a changed heart, and a changed person.

Moses replied, “Here I am”

There are sure some great thoughts here. What will our answer be when God calls us? He does, you know…each of us for something. It just makes it more wonderful how patient He is even when we mess it up or even resist. Thanks. Pat, for these thoughts.

Beholding Him Ministries

Here I Am

Exodus 3 (NIV)
1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian,
and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb,
the mountain of God.
2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him
in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though
the bush was on fire it did not burn up.
3 So Moses thought,
“I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look,
God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

Remember at the end of Chapter Two, we saw Moses name his son Gershom saying “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.” We hear his heart’s ache for his people and…

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Faith In Action-Wisdom From Above Is Gentle and Easygoing

faith in action

James 3: 17,18

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.


Read all of James Chapter 3 here

Wisdom from above will cause us to be gentle and easy to be intreated. We are going to consider these two together because they seem to work hand in hand to a certain extent. One Bible translation refers to these as being gentle and reasonable, which seems like a good choice of words to use.

Gentle can be defined as, “equitable, fair, mild, gentle.” Easy to be intreated can be defined as, “Led easily obeying, compliant.”

James is speaking from a position of experience and authority as he writes his epistle. In all likelihood, this is the very James who back in Acts Chapter 15 averted the schism between Jewish and Gentile believers in the Church at Antioch. If readers remember, there was trouble brewing in that church as the issue concerning believers continuing to follow Mosaic Law or not festered and threatened to divide that church. In fact, it threatened to divide the entire early church into Jewish and Gentile encampments.

James was able to come up with a solution which more or less made everyone happy. Additionally, the willingness of the two sides to be gentle and reasonable concerning the other side made the solution work. Read the story, it is a great one.

Most importantly, James showed the value of compromise without compromising Biblical truth. He never once backed down from the position of Salvation being of faith and not works. He never conceded that adherence to Mosaic Law AND faith was needed for salvation. He stood firm in that correct position. He simply asked that the Gentile believers agree to bend on a couple of secondary issues which were very offensive to the Jewish believers in the church.

Worldly wisdom seeks a fight; Godly wisdom seeks peace. Worldly wisdom is confrontational; Godly wisdom is peaceable. Worldly wisdom seeks its own way on all issues; Godly wisdom is willing to bend for peace on nonessentials.

 

God’s Promise

God never breaks a promise. Great thought here from Marques Jeffries

Overcoming The Times

Hebrew 6:19
Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

As believers, our HOPE in Christ is secure, like an anchor. This anchor is not in sand, but in the very presence of the Almighty.

Within the veil refers to the Most Holy place, the place where God dwells.

God can’t Lie.

Learning to trust God is difficult for some. Earthly fathers can and will let us down. Plenty of other people cannot be trusted.

We learn over and over from the Bible that God keeps His promises. He promised Abraham an unknown in an unknown land to make him great and give him a great family. God kept that promise by creating the nation of Israel and delivering Jesus the Messiah through the family line.

To you and I, God makes the promise of eternal…

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Just a Thought

Ezra 5.3.JPG

We don’t have to prove God’s authority, we just need to speak it

Slapped, Now THAT’S Mean!

Batman.jpgThis story was inspired by a really nice post by my friend IB on being mean, enabling and personal responsibility. Head over and read that post here. 

One time, many years ago(in 1st grade to be precise,) I was taught an object lesson on personal responsibility that has stayed with me and shaped me for some 50 years. This lesson happened at Meadowcliff Elementary School in Little Rock, Arkansas around 1967 or 1968 roughly. The teacher involved will just be called “Teacher,” for this story. Teacher passed some years back I imagine, as she was probably 40 or so at the time this happened; the way things have gone in this world, they would probably arrest her grandchildren over this incident, so all names have been changed to protect the quite seriously innocent.

That morning I did what I did every morning. I walked out of my front door, at the age of barely six years old and walked the 10 blocks to school all alone and unsupervised. Upon arrival at our big, asphalt-covered playground, I played on jungle gym equipment made out of actual, hard steel. As I have said, things were a bit different then. At our little school, there was a driveway with two posts on the sides and a heavy chain strung across to keep folks from driving onto our asphalt covered playground. All I can say is the temptation for a young boy was too much to bear, and I ran over, sat on the chain with my legs in the air and rocked back and forth. In 1968 boys did such things with abandon. Obviously, this was a stupid idea, even in that day. Teacher told me so: “Wally! Don’t do that, you are gonna fall off!.” Like any self-respecting boy, I ignored her. “Wally! Don’t do that, you are gonna bust your head!” Of course, I ignored Teacher again.

It was on the third warning that things went haywire. Naturally, that time when I looked at Teacher as she yelled, I immediately flipped backward and conked my head on that asphalt covered playground. Teacher came over to have her way with me, and as she clutched me by the shoulders to chat I reached back to feel my head, and my little hand came back covered in blood. Then I did what any self-respecting, bloody boy would do; I let rip a banshee yell that was probably heard in three counties.

Teacher did NOT comfort me. Teacher SLAPPED me! Right in the face. Then she said words I have never forgotten: “WALLY FRY! You quite crying like a baby and hush it! YOU did this, and you got exactly what you had coming!” I shut up post haste. Once I was silent, she pulled out a handkerchief, put it on my head, hugged me and took me to the nurse.

I never forgot that lesson, ever. What was the lesson? If you do something stupid, you pay a price, and folks may or not protect you from paying it. I also learned that the ones who love you will also help you get back on your feet, even if they let you screw up and pay for it.

Seems we could use a bit of that today to me.

 

BUILT ON SOLID GROUND

Great poetry and art here from Paul and Kathy Boecher. Blessings and enjoy!

atimetoshare.me

970882_4384439547465_505339563_n

ART & POETRY FROM PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

An edifice of solid rock, kissed by the waves below,

A fortress carved by God’s own hand, His power He does show,

Yet within that stone embankment, a quiet peace does live,

A strong right hand, a calming touch, judgment and peace will give,

His strength will pull us from the pit of everlasting hell,

His love will calm our every fear, we know that all is well,

He breathes in us His confidence, turns darkness into day,

He feels all our bumps and bruises, yet takes their pain away,

In His protection we are safe, from Satan’s evil snare,

We’re covered by the wings of God, in His own special care,

Rest in that solid rock which stands, the firmest place to be.

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