“The Helmet of Salvation” 4/04/2017 Written by bruce r. mills for “God’s group”

“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

                                   Image result for picture of the helmet of salvation Bible

Written by bruce r. mills for “God’s group”  @  www.Godsmanforever.com

(revised from 1/19/2011)

“The Helmet of Salvation… Part 2 of God’s Armor” 

   (For the first  2 days writing…type 4/02-03/2017, as separate dates into the search window of   www.Godsmanforever.com)

Ephesians 6:17… And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; (NKJV)

I woke up this morning, and before I even had a chance to ask God to guide me through this day, I knew what I was going to write on today… I had been writing about scripture in the Book of Romans, but was sidetracked by the Armor of God, each and every Christian should  be wearing as a complete set…all 6 pieces…(Ephesians 6:10-20)   [ https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=eph6%3A10-20&version=ESV ]

In looking at my own weaknesses as a Christian, I am hopeful that others can find out what pieces they are missing of the “Whole Armor of God”, to be able to make a stand against Satan… To be Spirit filled on a more  consistent basis, I believe it’s necessary to be wearing God’s complete set of spiritual armor…   As Christians, any chinks in God’s armor will allow Satan in, and leave a crack in our fragile clay vessel… Our cup cannot be filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit, if we have any cracks in it…

The apostle Paul tells us in this, in…Ephesians 6:11… “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (NKJV)

The opening scripture talks about “the helmet of salvation”…   Salvation; or being saved by God’s grace, is all about obeying the Gospel of Christ…   We must understand the gospel, and respond to God’s calling…or we will be left to “die in our sins”, as the Apostle John pens this spoken by Jesus, in…  [See 1. Below for the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ]

John 8:24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”  (NKJV)

But once we are “Born Again” Christians, we must keep “the helmet of salvation” on 24/7…   Each and every day, we must be thankful for the grace God has gifted us with, as we have been accepted by Him into His family as a redeemed child of God…

As ambassadors of Christ, we must always look for opportunities to share the gospel of Christ with the lost and dying world around us…  This, for sure, was one of my major shortcomings for over 7 years, as I have previously confessed…because I allowed the Holy Spirit to take a back seat in my life…keeping me less than Spirit filled…Ephesians 5:18-20

Heavenly Father, being Spirit filled is what every Christian should strive to become on a consistent, but not perfect basis… Help each and every reader understand that Your complete set of spiritual armor is required, to protect us from Satan… It starts with “the helmet of salvation”… Help us Father to be striving to put on Your protective armor piece by piece…

Help us to realize that any chinks in our spiritual body armor will leave us vulnerable to Satan, and his bag full of tricks to deceive us…   Being Spirit filled is an ongoing, daily labor of love for You Lord, as Your obedient children walk in the Spirit…Galatians 5:16…   Help us Father, to keep our fragile clay vessel filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit…  I pray for this fullness of Christ within each and every one of us, in Jesus’ most precious name and for His sake I pray…Amen…

Blessings in Christ,   bruce

 

References:

 

  1.  Here is a link for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…https://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

 

Picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?q=picture+of+the+helmet+of+salvation+Bible&espv=2&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjSpOXs24rTAhVG0iYKHYAKD10QsAQIGQ&biw=1126&bih=686#imgrc=Hvsl7EgqC555oM:

 

 

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“Temptation” 2/21/2018 Written by Dr. James Merritt for “Touching Lives”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

 The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

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Written by Dr. James Merritt for “Touching Lives”  @ https://touchinglives.org

Original post @  https://touchinglives.org/2018/02/12/temptation/

 

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” Matthew 4:1

It is incredible to see how Jesus’ ministry was introduced to the world. It would seem fitting for His ministry to kick off with a big splash. If Hollywood had done it, Jesus would have come in sitting on a throne held up by angels, greeted by adoring crowds with a parade down Main Street. But that’s not how God does things. There are two main events that marked the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. First, He was baptized in the Jordan River. Then, He was tempted in the desert by Satan. In all four of the Gospel books of the Bible, His baptism and temptation are presented together.

As soon as Jesus came up out of the baptism waters of the Jordan River, God presented Him as His beloved Son. And what happened immediately after that? Did Jesus start healing the sick, walking on water, or preaching great sermons? No. Instead, He goes into the desert for 40 days of fasting and then is tempted by the Devil face-to-face. The story is quite simple, taking up less than 200 words in the Bible. The story of Jesus’ temptation is, however, one of the most encouraging passages in all of Scripture because He shows us that even though temptation comes to all of us, it doesn’t have to defeat any of us.

Is it a coincidence that Jesus’ temptation comes right after His baptism? I don’t think so. Matthew 4:1 tells us that the Spirit of God led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted. Does that mean it is God who tempts us to sin? No. James 1:13 assures us that God does not tempt anyone. So why would the Spirit lead Jesus to be tempted? I believe it was to show us a perfect picture of how to resist the schemes of the Devil. Through Jesus’ temptation, we learn three important truths. First, we learn to expect temptation. If Jesus, the perfect Son of God, was tempted to sin, we will be to. We should not be surprised by temptation. Second, we learn how the Devil works when he tempts us. Satan was cunning and sly in his temptation of Jesus, even twisting God’s Word to try and get Jesus to sin. He will use the same tactics on us. Lastly, we learn how to stand firm on God’s Word, by God’s Spirit, to reject temptation.

Through the example of Jesus in Matthew 4, we have confidence that temptation is not stronger than the Spirit of God living in His people. If we have surrendered our lives to Him, His Spirit lives in us, giving us the power to stand firm against the Devil’s tricks and schemes. Temptation is inevitable; but falling victim to it is not. By God’s grace, we can resist the temptation to sin.

God, thank you for the example of Jesus when facing temptation. Please help me to cling to Your truth when I am tempted.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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P.S. (from bruce)   If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

 

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“Confess Your Sins to God” 2/20/2018 Posted by Alister Begg for “Truth for Life”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

 The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

                              Image result for picture  1 John 1:9

I post this blog by Alister Begg today, believing that we as “born again” Christians cannot live in perfect fellowship with the Lord, if we have known unconfessed sins…  I believe 1 John 1:9 is a model piece of scripture every Christian must understand and pray to the Lord on a regular basis…to be obedient to God’s Word…

1 John 1:9…  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (ESV)

I have fellow brother and sisters in Christ, who believe 1 John 1:9  was written for only the unsaved…  I welcome a response from anyone reading this, to give me their thoughts on the long going debate about needing or not needing to confess any known sins to the Lord…

Blessings in Christ,  bruce

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Posted by Alister Begg for “Truth for Life”  @  http://info.truthforlife.org

Original post @  http://info.truthforlife.org/devo-feb18-2018?ecid=ACsprvvPKV-h7lka5hasF7w7xzKt3tvjbdOsS5w5bocilK5IjFMwfNw0qVrGN-8my_9mILfQI04h&utm_campaign=Daily%20Devotion%20Emails&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=60741613&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8cPkAyXQzmpi8MfHfPnzkNrl3OCF79DoWmtiItyyBQaZITBf7mod-K5QKyGCo6ZnHCR4miztPJOawvFcgMdqR0XLlJB60RRyNOOMobXfD98nZ3CmQ&_hsmi=60741613

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL FEBRUARY 18, 2018

Confess Your Sins to God

 

Father, I have sinned.
Luke 15:18

It is quite certain that those whom Christ has washed in His precious blood need not make a confession of sin as culprits or criminals before God the Judge, because Christ has forever taken away all their sins in a legal sense, so that they no longer stand where they can be condemned, but are once and for all accepted in the Beloved.

But having become children, and offending as children, should they not every day go before their heavenly Father and confess their sin and acknowledge their iniquity in that character? Nature teaches that it is the duty of erring children to make a confession to their earthly father, and the grace of God in the heart teaches us that we, as Christians, owe the same duty to our heavenly Father. We daily offend and ought not to rest without daily pardon. Suppose that my trespasses against my Father are not at once taken to Him to be washed away by the cleansing power of the Lord Jesus–what will be the consequence? If I have not sought forgiveness and been washed from these offenses against my Father, I shall feel at a distance from Him; I shall doubt His love for me; I shall tremble before Him; I shall be afraid to pray to Him: I shall grow like the prodigal who, although still a child, was yet far away from his father. But if with a child’s sorrow at offending so gracious and loving a Parent, I go to Him and tell Him everything, and do not rest until I realize that I am forgiven, then I shall feel a holy love to my Father and shall go through my Christian career not only as saved, but as one enjoying present peace in God through Jesus Christ my Lord.

There is a wide distinction between confessing sin as a culprit and confessing sin as a child. The Father’s bosom is the place for penitent confessions. We have been cleansed once for all, but our feet still need to be washed from the defilement of our daily walk as children of God.

 

One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.

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P.S. (from bruce)   If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

 

picture credit: https://www.google.com/search?q=picture++1+John+1:9&rlz=1C1VFKB_enUS610US619&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQnNCKn7PZAhVNnOAKHR0hBRUQsAQIRQ&biw=1183&bih=821#imgrc=Iyi8J-iMB9ZxVM:

 

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“Jesus Is the Resurrection” 2/19/2018 Written by Wally Fry for “Truth in Palmyra”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

 Written by Wally Fry  for “Truth in Palmyra”  @   https://truthinpalmyra.wordpress.com

 Original post @  https://truthinpalmyra.wordpress.com/2018/02/12/jesus-is-the-resurrection/

 

Jesus Is the Resurrection

John 11.25 26

John 11:21-27

Friends, if you knew for a fact that this life was the entirety of your existence, how would you feel? I am pretty certain most of us would feel as Mary and Martha seemed to have felt: hopeless and sad. Their beloved brother was dead, and under this scenario, he was simply gone; in this world view he was just a clump of cells which had ceased functioning. That may be the saddest outlook on life that could possibly be.

Yet, these sisters certainly did not seem to be without hope. We see that Martha, although a bit miffed that Jesus had taken so long to get to them, believed that her brother would yet have eternal life. She knew her brother’s earthly life had ended, but that she would be with him again someday.

Then in one of the most hopeful passages in all of Scripture, Jesus spoke, and Lazarus returned to life! Jesus is the resurrection for all who believe, and He proved it conclusively in that instant.

If this life is all we have, how could we not be sad and hopeless? Frankly, life stinks sometimes, if not a LOT of the time. For many on this earth, life is certainly not its own reward. Despite what many teach, this is even true for those who believe. Friends, Jesus has overcome this life and death as well, and in Him someday we too can be resurrected to the new and glorious eternity.

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P.S. (from bruce)   If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

 

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“God’s Grace = Power” 2/18/2018 Written by bruce r. mills for “God’s group”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Image result for pic God's grace = power

“God’s Grace = Power” 

Written by bruce r. mills for “God’s group” @   www.Godsmanforever.com

Ephesians 3:7…  that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, 7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power. (NKJV)

My friends…many would define God’s grace as unmerited favor given to us by God, but not deserved…  Here is one definition that I found…  “THE GRACE OF GOD” … So grace is favor, unmerited favor.” Salvation by Grace. Grace is, therefore, God’s unmerited favor – His goodness toward those who have no claim on, nor reason to expect, divine favor. The principal manifestation of God’s grace has been in the form of a gift.”  (https://www.auburn.edu/~allenkc/fbf/grace.html

But I believe God’s grace is so much more than just unmerited favor…  It is given to us by God to empower us with His supernatural power…the power of the Holy Spirit… I came across this YouTube video by Tim Conway, that goes right in line with my personal beliefs…  [see 1. below for the video]

Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem, until God sent down the Holy Spirit (calling Him the power from above), in…

Luke 24:49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”  (NKJV)

We see this amazing power on the Day of Pentecost…when God sent down the Holy Spirit to indwell all of His redeemed children…  You can read all about it in…Acts 2:1-21… at this link…  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=acts+2%3A1-21%2C+1cor+15%3A10%2C+eph+3&version=ESV;NKJV

After receiving this amazing supernatural power of the Holy Spirit from God, the Apostle Peter stood up and boldly preached what some call “Peter’s Sermon on the Mount”…  I believe the most important point of Peter’s sermon, was the presentation of the Gospel of Christ…when Peter said this, in…

Acts 2:38, 40-41…  Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 40  And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.  (NKJV)

Indeed, it is the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ that God uses to save souls; and God wants us as believers to share His Gospel with those in need of God’s saving grace…  [see 2. below for a presentation of the Gospel of Christ]

Books have been written about all that the Holy Spirit does in the life of the believer…  God has given all of His redeemed children the Holy Spirit to guide and direct His children down the right path in life…  Just to name a few major functions of the Holy Spirit…He is our Comforter…our Helper…our Protector from Satan’s attacks…the illuminator of Scripture…He convicts us of our sins and then helps us to pray…and in general, the Holy Spirit gives us His power to overcome any of life’s obstacles…  He can open doors for us that we could never open in our own mortal strength…  We see this penned by the Apostle Paul, in…

Ephesians 3:20…   Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,  (NKJV)

So if you are a “born again” Christian…and you have not totally submitted your life to Christ…you are missing out on the blessings God wants to shower upon all of His obedient children, in the way of spiritual fruit that will grow and develop at maximum speed in the life of the Spirit filled Christian (Ephesians 5:18-20), who is walking in and by the FULL power of the Holy Spirit…

The Apostle Paul says this best, in…

Galatians 5:16…  But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  (ESV)

I reference this commentary by John F Walvoord on…Galatians 5:16… found in 4. below on a regular basis, because does an excellent job in describing what he titles…“The Spirit at Work in the Spirit-filled Life”…  If you have not taken the time to read this excellent post…I would urge you do so…  You will be blessed if you read this post, and apply the principles found there to your own life !!

 

 

Gracious God and heavenly Father, I pray that all of Your redeemed children would come to experience the amazing blessings they will experience, if they would just open Your Word (hopefully every day), and be spiritually fed (Matthew 4:4) with the wisdom they will find in the Bible…  You tell us how to live lives that will not only be pleasing to You…they will be lives filled with all the promises You will reveal to us…  Promises that will give us the supernatural power that the indwelt Holy Spirit is just waiting to release upon our lives… I pray Father, that all of Your children would seek Your face…confess their sins (1 John 1:9)…and live by the FULL power of the Holy Spirit You have given them to guide and direct their lives in Your will and Your ways…  I pray for this fullness of Christ in all of our lives…in Jesus’ most precious name and for His sake…Amen…

Blessings in Christ,  bruce

References:

  1. Tim Conway’s video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-uT6e6jlr0&feature=em-subs_digest

  2. If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

  3. Functions of the Holy Spirit…  https://revtrev.com/live-light/70-functions-of-the-holy-spirit/

  4. Commentary by John F. Walvoord –   The Spirit at Work in the Spirit-filled Life”     https://bible.org/seriespage/5-spirit-work-spirit-filled-life

 

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“Is there meaning in tragedy?” 2/17/2018 Posted by www.gotquestions.org

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

                                 Image result for picture why does God allow tragedy Bible

Posted by www.gotquestions.org

Original post @  https://www.gotquestions.org/QOTW.htm

 

Question: “Is there meaning in tragedy?”

Answer: When tragedy strikes, it is common for people to ask, “What does this mean?” When we witness some disaster or mass murder, there is a natural feeling that what has happened should not have happened. This innate sense of “wrongness” is a clue to meaning in these events. When we look to find meaning in tragedy, we must have the right perspective. We need to approach the question in a way that allows for a coherent answer, and this is only possible through a Christian worldview. Because God instills meaning into every moment and event in history, through Him we can begin to find meaning in suffering. The nature of this world lends itself to tragic events. Fortunately, God speaks to us, so that we can find not only meaning, but salvation and relief from the sufferings of the world.

When studying physical motion, it is crucial to understand perspective. Speed and acceleration are only meaningful in relation to some other object; this object is the reference point. The way in which the reference point moves affects our perception. The same is true in our sense of right and wrong. For concepts of good, bad, right, wrong, or tragedy to be meaningful, they have to be anchored to a reference point that does not change or move. The only valid reference point for these issues is God. The very fact that we consider a mass murder wrong strongly supports the idea of God as the reference point for our sense of good and evil. Without God, even the events we consider the most tragic are no more meaningful than anything else. We have to understand the nature of this world and our relationship to God in order to draw any meaning at all from the things we see.

God infuses every moment and every event with meaning and gives us confidence that He understands what we are going through. When Jesus instituted communion, He tied the past, present, and future together. 1 Corinthians 11:26 says, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup (the present), you proclaim the Lord’s death (the past) until He comes (the future).” God’s knowledge of all events means nothing is insignificant to Him. If God knows when a sparrow falls, He certainly knows when we face tragedy (Matthew 10:29-31). In fact, God assured us that we would face trouble in this world (John 16:33) and that He has experienced our struggles personally (Hebrews 2:14-18; Hebrews 4:15).

While we understand that God has sovereign control over all things, it is important to remember that God is not the source of tragedy. The vast majority of human suffering is caused by sin, all too often the sin of other people. For instance, a mass murder is the fault of the murderer disobeying the moral law of God (Exodus 20:13; Romans 1:18-21). When we look to find meaning in such an event, we have to understand why this world is the way it is. The hardship of this world was originally caused by mankind’s sin (Romans 5:12), which is always a matter of choice (1 Corinthians 10:13). While God is perfectly capable of stopping tragedies before they begin, sometimes He chooses not to. While we may not know why, we do know that He is perfect, just, and holy, and so is His will. Also, the suffering we experience in this world does three things. It leads us to seek God, it develops our spiritual strength, and it increases our desire for heaven (Romans 8:18-25; James 1:2-3; Titus 2:13; 1 Peter 1:7).

In the garden of Eden, God spoke to Adam and communicated in clear and direct ways, not in abstract concepts. God speaks to us today in the same way. In some ways, this is the most important meaning to be found in any tragedy. Tragic events demonstrate much of their meaning in the way we react to them. C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” This does not mean that God causes tragedy, but that He uses our reaction to tragedy to speak to us. Tragic events remind us not only that we live in an imperfect and fallen world, but that there is a God who loves us and wants something better for us than the world has to offer.

Recommended Resource: Is God Really in Control? Trusting God in a World of Terrorism, Tsunamis, and Personal Tragedy by Jerry Bridges

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P.S. (from bruce)   If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

Picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1VFKB_enUS610US619&biw=1183&bih=892&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=1kiHWsbjC4W7gge9y7i4BA&q=picture+why+does+God+allow+tragedy+Bible&oq=picture+why+does+God+allow+tragedy+Bible&gs_l=psy-ab.12…6658.11495.0.13756.7.7.0.0.0.0.168.689.5j2.7.0….0…1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.0.0….0.U-7UvPAhEu0#imgrc=cUN6iAvr_3r-WM:

 

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“Why, Oh Lord, Why?” 2/16/2018 Posted by Pastor Randy Burbank for “God’s KINGDOM”

Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

                              

 

Posted by Pastor Randy Burbank for “God’s KINGDOM” @  https://kingdompastor.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://kingdompastor.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/why-oh-lord-why/

 

Why, Oh Lord, Why?

MSD High School (1)

Once again our nation is reeling from yet another act of senseless violence, though it made perfect sense to Nikolas Cruz.  And thus my question this morning:

Why, oh Lord, why did this happen?

There are those who will answer my question, but with the wrong answer.  “It’s the gun laws, rather, the lack of gun laws.  If we just ban those nasty guns, this would not ever happen again.”  I just don’t think this is the answer.  Chicago has the strictest gun laws and the senseless human violence continues every day.

“It’s that he wasn’t treated fairly.  He did not have the same opportunities as others.  If he had just received what he was entitled to, this would not have happened.”  Well, he may not have been treated fairly, but many others haven’t been treated fairly but they did not go out and kill innocent people.  So, how is this the answer?

“Well, they took prayer and the Bible out of the schools and this is the result!”  Do you really think that there is a “Prayer Void” or “Bible Void”, like a black hole, that exists in public schools?  I know countless students, teachers, support staff and administrators that cover their schools in prayer every day, and though they do not “read the Bible” in class, these Disciples of Jesus live out those words every day.  So, I don’t think that is the reason nor the answer to my question.  Besides, like the saying goes, “As long as there are tests, students will pray.”

“Video games and TV violence is the reason!  If Silicon Valley and Hollywood did not glorify violence, this would not have happened.”  If so, why isn’t everyone who plays video games and watches violent TV out there killing the innocents?  Mind you, I’m not suggesting that it doesn’t desensitize people’s conscience.  But eliminating violent games and TV will not eliminate this threat.

They are coming out of the woodwork, from under rocks, all espousing reasons for this horrible act of human violence.  Their reasons will go on ad nauseam and yet, there will be another shooting at a church, school, community center–anywhere people gather.  So what is the answer to this burning question that oozes out of both my faith and my heart?

To be quite honest, I cannot accept the “pat” answers, but I admit that I do not have the answer.  Honestly, I do not know that there is an “answer”.  Perhaps I, along with many others should ask a different question other than the “why” question.  I’m simply thinking out loud right now because of this ooze of “why”.  Maybe the question that everyone who professes to be “Christian” (perhaps I should say ‘allegedly’ Christian) should be asking is: “What now?  What should we do now?”  This is a question for which I do have an answer.  And here is my answer to “that” question.

You need to stop be consumers of the services of the church.  Sorry, Jack, your local church does NOT exist for you.  You need to become the producers of what the church is really about; and that’s the Kingdom of God.  Quit living out a small story and step into the story of the Kingdom where God is in the business of redeeming and restoring human lives.  Stop spending so much of your budget on what happens at a 911 address (that means building/campus).

Quit pointing out where everyone else is wrong and admit that somewhere you are broken, too.  Get to know the people around you, without offering judgment against them.  Get out of, way out of your comfort zones.

Jesus wasn’t comfortable in what He did for you on that Cross, so why should you get to be comfortable in what you do for Jesus! 

Quit whining about us needing to become ‘again’ a “Christian nation” and understand that as Disciples of Jesus we are “aliens and foreigners” in this land; God’s true people have always been “foreigners” wherever they lived.  Show me one verse that says God wants to establish a “Christian Nation” and I will show you a hundred verses where Jesus came to establish the Kingdom of God!  Let’s start doing something, just one thing at a time, that helps others, including yourself, to be restored to the image of God.  Live out Grace the way Jesus lived out Grace.

I just don’t know the “Why, oh Lord, why did this happen?”  But I am now reminded that even with my doubt and questions, God is still working to establish His Kingdom, that place where His will is “done on earth as it is in heaven.”

 

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P.S. (from bruce)   If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Christianity, Daily Devotion, Exortation, faith, God, Gospel, Holiness, Hope, Jesus Christ, Love, Mercy, Peace, Praise, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Long, Hard Journey of Faith” 2/15/2018 Written by Francine Rivers of “Proverbs 31 Ministries”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

 The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

That is exactly how the devil deceives you into believing you are ready. But the truth is plain: "saved through faith...not of works". If works got you into Heaven, no one would make it because we ALL sin every single day. It is a gift given freely by God when you believe in him, not by a spoken confession or "receiving" Him, but by humbling your heart and believing through faith He will save you.

Written by  Francine Rivers of “Proverbs 31 Ministries” for https://www.crosswalk.com

Original post @  https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/encouragement/encouragement-for-today-february-14-2018.html

 

February 14, 2018

The Long, Hard Journey of Faith

FRANCINE RIVERS

 

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

When I became a Christian, I thought all my problems would go away, and God would take care of everything with a snap of His fingers.

The truth is, my life fell apart within weeks of being baptized. Suffice it to say, accepting Jesus and asking Him to be Lord of my life didn’t obliterate the garbage I’d pressed down in the compactor of my heart.

In His mercy and grace, God didn’t bring up all my sins, sinful habits and sinful ways of thinking at one time. I’d have likely despaired if He had.

Instead, He opened my eyes over time. Through His Holy Spirit, I saw the painful truth. I agreed with God about my sins. Even before I was a Christian, I knew when I did wrong. My conscience told me. But the heart is deceitful, and the mind can rationalize and justify any behavior. And we tend to surround ourselves with like-thinkers. I can’t cast blame. Wrongs are done to us by others, but that never excuses us from doing wrong ourselves.

Thankfully, God created us as His masterpiece — His work of art — and He has destined us to accomplish great things in our lifetimes: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10). God knows who and what we are. He offers one way to be saved for all eternity: Accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. No other way. While seeing and acknowledging the truth about myself, I also experienced the amazing grace and love of God.

Coming to Jesus opened my eyes to who I am. I am a sinner. I am human. I am weak. I stumble and fall, even now that I am saved. I am also a daughter of the King. I am loved by God. And He is strong. He is faithful. He keeps His Word. He will never abandon me. He helps me stand again. He gives me the will to keep walking in the steps of Jesus.

But honestly, it can be very hard, working out our salvation. By working, I mean living it, not earning it. As the Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 2:12b, we are to “Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.” (NLT)

Friends, the faith journey isn’t easy. Believing is only the first step onto the narrow pathway. The next steps put a believer on the road of trial and blessing as we walk out a new life as a disciple of Christ. We must stick close to Jesus, read His Word, lean in and listen. We need to obey, even when it means personal, painful sacrifice. That’s the long, hard journey of transformation. That’s the kind of faith that impacts the world.

Dear Lord, sometimes I wish this journey of faith were easier. But I know You are with me, guiding each step I take. Nudge me back onto Your path when I wander off. And give me strength to continue pressing on every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 John 1:8-9, “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (NLT)

John 16:33, “[Jesus said], ‘I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.’” (NLT)

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P.S. (from bruce)   If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

 

picture credit:  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/349169777344501169/

 

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Christianity, Daily Devotion, Exortation, faith, God, Gospel, Holiness, Hope, Jesus Christ, Love, Mercy, Peace, Praise, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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