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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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The Lord’s plan

God’s plan is always the best one! He actually has no responsibility to tell us why regarding anything; if He does, then it is a blessing. If he does not, doing it His way is still the biggest blessing, because in the end all will be well.

Beholding Him Ministries

Psalm 33.11

Exodus 14:1-4
“Then the Lord gave these instructions to Moses:“Order the Israelites to turn back and camp by Pi-hahiroth between Migdol and the sea. Camp there along the shore, across from Baal-zephon.Then Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are confused. They are trapped in the wilderness!’And once again I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after you. I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army. After this the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord!” So the Israelites camped there as they were told.”

Can you imagine, the Israelites’ hearts and  minds are set on one thing, get out of Egypt, be free from the suffering and slavery, get as far away as they can, and find this new promised land the Lord has told them about…and the Lord’s instructions are to “turn back…

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This World Will Tell You

Who are we listening to? Good stuff here, thanks Stacy.

Through the Stillness

6F7BB7AD-C612-4C6B-AA72-D028BD0C7262This world will tell you strength lies in control and power.

I say real strength lies in submission and humility.

This world will tell you to put your needs first.

I say you should put others’ needs first.

This world will tell you to do whatever makes you happy.

I say you should use self-control and do what pleases God.

This world will tell you there is no God–just look at the science.

I say it’s ridiculous to think chance could create such detail, beauty, and intellect in its design.

This world will tell you to do and think many things,

but I’m telling you this world is wrong.

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Who Is Your King?

What a simple question in this title. If the answer is anyone other than Jesus, then the truth is we are rank idolaters! Thanks for this, Elihu.

Elihu's Corner

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As Samuel listened to the Israelites, a pang of grief shot through his chest. For as long as he could remember, he had been in service to Jehovah. His mother told him the story each year when she came to visit him, of how he had been given to her by the Lord and why she had given him back to God. The years flew before his eyes in a flash, and he gazed mournfully at the group assembled before him.

He had served faithfully all these years—and they were rejecting Him.

The people said, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.

Dejected, Samuel consulted the Lord in prayer. As always, God faithfully responded with an answer. The sound of the Lord’s voice still filled him with a mingling of joy…

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Toleration — It should be exercised for the benefit of those whose faith is weak

What a good thing here. Our interactions with new believers are sometimes quite intolerant, and we can slide quickly into legalistic expectations of them and actually hard their development. A person coming to faith after a, shall we say, difficult life only know one thing: and that is they sinned and Jesus could save them. Yet, we expect that in an instant they will become fully sinless. Of course, we are all new creatures in that instant, but often the change is only our desire to live better, not the actual result. That is where the role of personal and continued discipleship comes into play. Good stuff here, Michael, be blessed.

Quotes, thoughts and musings

Truth – Can you handle it?

How toleration of other believers should I be? Even when disputing/dialoguing over prominent doctrines, a disciple of Jesus should exercise restraint and show respect. It is one thing to disagree with a position; it is quite another to disparage a person.

I must hold fast to the Truth while showing compassion to those who question it. Like Jesus, I must be full of both grace and truth (John 1:14). Peter strikes a good balance between having the answer and having humility: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15).

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dark seasons

I thought of one of my favorite songs when I read this. When things are tough, prayer is the answer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Beth and Jim Herring

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Burdened heart.

Shattered spirit.

Wounded soul.

Have you ever been there? In a dark season of your life where you can’t see the way out?

A season where you feel like you are on the bottom of the deepest ocean and all around you is an inky blackness that keeps you from seeing the way to the top. A season where you are struggling so hard to fight against the current and make your way to the surface, but the closer you seem to get to breaking through that barrier to freedom, the farther away it gets.

Deep hurt. Fierce anxiety. Confusion.

We have all faced those times of despair in our lives. We have all faced the chaotic mess of the world’s sinful nature pressing down into our midst.

So, what do we do??

When I come face-to-face with the enemy… I pray. Oh, I don’t mean little prayers…

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Faith In Action-Make Plans for the Future

faith in action

James 4:13-16

Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.


Read all of James Chapter 4 here

Here James begins speaking, apparently, to a group of businessmen who were making plans. We need to say, first of all, that God does not oppose the making of plans, and God does not oppose success in business or even the accumulation of wealth. There is nothing to suggest in all of God’s Word that we are to just drift around life, awaiting God to drop things into our lives. What we see over and over is that hard word and industriousness is commanded by God. A look at men such as Abraham or Job would also show us that God certainly does not oppose His people becoming financially successful.

The men even had what seemed like a model business plan. They had a plan, a place, a period, a purpose and a profit all calculated out to ensure their success. Once again, it seems to be a model business plan on the part of these gentlemen. What were they being faulted for, then?

As we will see as we study this passage in more detail, the fact of the well thought out plan was not the issue; the issue turns out to be the fact that they had left God out of their plan. They had a well thought out plan, but not a well prayed out plan.

Let’s look quickly at some things the Bible says about the value of planning for the future.

The story of Joseph counseling Pharaoh to plan for the future famine coming to Egypt in Genesis 41.

Proverbs 21:5 The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.

Proverbs 24:27 Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.

The entire book of Nehemiah is about a man who had a well planned and executed plan.

The entire Book of Proverbs is simply packed with guidance to be diligent, well prepared, and industrious in the conduct of our lives.

The reason I have placed so much emphasis on this is to dispel a somewhat common perception among non-believers, and even among some believers that because God is sovereign(and He is!) that we just drift through life awaiting whatever way or direction God will push us in. We can see easily and clearly that this is simply NOT true.

What was the problem then? These fellows had a great plan; it seemed extremely well thought out and developed. Why it seems like a Biblical model of planning. What could be wrong here?

Stay tuned and see.

If Ever I Loved Thee

Now, I happen to love a good teaching built around a good Hymn. That’s are why those are good hymns…they contain a good teaching. It’s nice when a writer adds words and expands the thought. Thanks brother Anthony for this!

The Recovering Legalist

A Hymn Sermon

One of the greatest hymns, at least one of my favorites, is “My Jesus, I Love Thee.” Several years ago on a Sunday morning, I preached a sermon based on the four verses from this wonderful song.

Below is a copy of the simple outline I took to the pulpit. I must admit, it got me a little wound up. (Can I get an “Amen!“)

“My Jesus I Love Thee”

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine; (Jn 21:15-17)
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign; (2 Tim. 2:19)
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou; (Ruth 2:10)
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now. (The Place of Regeneration)

I love Thee because Thou hast first loved me, (1 John 4:19)
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree; (1 Peter 1:18-19)
I love Thee for wearing the thorns…

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Faith In Action-When Our Plans Are Not God’s Plans

faith in action

James 4:13-16

Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.


Read all of James Chapter 4 here

It almost seems as if James has taken a change of direction here, as he moves on to another subject. Now the subject is the audacity of a group of men and their plan making without considering the plans and wishes of God in those plans.

A case can be made that this section still bears a substantial relationship to some of the previous discussions. The linkage here is pride. We can see from earlier writings in this chapter the things pride and a desire to operate our lives independent from God causes. In the first part of Chapter 4 we saw how this has made us love the things of the world rather than God. We saw later how this has made us think we can be the judge of our brethren instead of God.

Finally, we see here that James’ readers just had to seize one more opportunity to use their pride as a reason to shake their fists in God’s face and go their own direction. We will explore in the next day or two exactly what these men were about to do, as they put together their own plans with no regard for God’s desires.

But, let’s chase a rabbit for a bit first and recap some things we know about pride so that we can truly understand the seriousness of this issue. We tend to treat our pride as somewhat of a minor issue, when in fact a case could be made that pride is actually the driving force behind every other sin.

It was pride that made Lucifer fall and take one third of God’s angels from heaven with him. We can read how Lucifer started out as one of God’s most beautiful creations and chose to rebel in Ezekiel 28.  We can read of Satan’s five “I Wills” and how his pride caused his fall in Isaiah 14.

Of course, we all know the story of Adam and Eve’s Fall in the Garden of Eden as described in Genesis Chapter 3. The Apostle John later tells us that the “Pride of life” is one of the things which places us in the world rather than in God. 1 John 2:16

So, is pride serious? Of course, it is. Is it the most serious? Maybe so.

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