'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
Is it Law, or is it Grace - Is it "grace only" or is it "law only"? Must it be one or the other, or - is it both?
Law - God's law or laws, most would agree, show us God's very high standard. His law "leads us to Christ" (Galatians 3:24), who IS the Standard. Jesus is the purpose of the law since He came to fulfill it (Matthew 5:16-22). Therefore we must come to Christ in order to keep the law - because only He can "fulfill" it in us! By thinking that the law of God is no longer needed or that it has been "done away" with, there ( Click for more )
"So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: "Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you."- Acts 17:22-23
Does this passage from God’s Word seem familiar?
Many have at least an arms length familiarity with the incident, or an academic acquaintance with certain particulars of the whys and wherefores concerning ( Click for more )
There is a much different world coming - one developing out of this present world that we all know - a world like no one has ever seen before, or will ever be seen again. One that is not expected, except perhaps by those who are striving to bring it about. However they may see what they do not expect to see or envision. It will be ruled by a one world government; one religion; one world economy. Government, Economics, and Religion. These three aspects of the "new world order", are even now slowly becoming a reality, and beginning to position themselves, eventually to fall ( Click for more )
There is no subject in the annals of Christian history that has caused more concern, questions, and mental anguish than the words "unpardonable sin". So much so, that it is almost completely avoided in public venues and private conversations. They may even cause a twinge of momentary fear in the heart of those who know little or believe little about God, Jesus, or Christianity. Recently we discussed a hidden fear in the being of all of humanity (see Archives ,"The World Does Not Know"). But the fear of committing or of having committed the unpardonable sin also ( Click for more )
There have been many discussions about love. Even to make the statement is an understatement. But discussions and arguments, strife and accusations, charges and countercharges about conditional and unconditional love continues relentlessly. Is there such a state or condition as conditional and/or unconditional love? Should love be "unconditional"? Is there ever a time for "conditional love"?
Can love be divided?
In order to reduce the size of a tree that could have so many branches and twigs, we will focus on the love of God as He relates to people, and ( Click for more )
There are many definitions and theories regarding self. Even in the dictionary. Many word doublets have been evolved in an attempt to describe the self. It appears that there are so many that the whole concept of self becomes hazy and almost indefinable, and yet most everyone knows what or who is being referred to when they hear the word. So it would appear that there are many "selfs" (not a real word), in the sense of what we are in thought, word, action, feelings, and attitude. Some of these are: myself, yourself, selfish (and selfishness), self centered, self confidence, ( Click for more )
Last week we discussed the tension between fear and love as it is worked out by Christ in our lives. The Apostle Paul makes a statement that is so astounding in its simplicity and yet so profound as to take our breath away in its ramifications.
It is all too often overlooked in attempting to fathom why the world thinks the way it thinks, and does what it does. It is easy to make sweeping generalities, but this one is worthy of all acceptances. It disassembles us, and reassembles us, and disassembles us again. In some ways, it truly is the reason for being what and who we are naturally ( Click for more )
Are these two mutually exclusive? Is there a conflict between Love and Fear? Some feel that there is, and often refer to 1 John 4:18 in support: "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love". This would seem to be evidence enough. Fear is a negative emotion, counterproductive, and not now useful in God’s scheme of things. There is no place for fear anymore in God’s plan. Case closed...
However, what are we going to do - with all those other scriptures - about fear, ( Click for more )
When growing up in a rural setting, a popular cliché’ was often heard when someone wanted to do something which would be considered inappropriate by others. It was an excuse to do what one wanted to do when one wanted to do it. It was an expression both humorous and - temporarily at least - true. So many times we heard, " well...distance is decency, so go ahead!"
Not only is distance decency, it just makes us feel safe! If enough distance can be put between us and something or someone, all seems well. If we feel threatened in some way, the first impulse ( Click for more )
Are you, or have you ever been, hurt? Are you hurting now, in an ongoing and progressive sense? Are you in some way, in "a world of hurt"? If so, is it of such intensity that you would call it suffering? Is the suffering of such intensity that it could be called agony...? It is probably a safe thing to say that everyone falls into at least one of the categories above - past or present. If not, then probably we all will be - someday. It seems that the poet and the musician have always been correct when they penned that the whole world is hurting. The world is more than hurting ( Click for more )
What is money...more importantly, what is it made for?
It is a creation of man. It has become universally used by man replacing the barter system which was cumbersome and became inefficient. Money has been defined as a "medium of exchange", a type of go-between, a middle mechanism to facilitate the transfer of something from one location to another, i.e. goods and services of the world, without having to actually move such goods and services before equivalent goods and services can be taken possession of. Such transfers are on the minds of many right now. Such concerns ( Click for more )
"Waisted time, waisted years; Waisted life, waisted tears"
These words were scribbled on a small piece of paper, the morning after the greatest tragedy in my life. At that moment, I thought life was over. There was not much to salvage from the past, and not much hope for the future. It was utter despair. As the agonizing days and more agonizing nights slowly went by, the world did not seem to improve much. Many nights I felt I would certainly die before morning. As it is written, Oh that it were morning; and then, Oh that it were evening!
Experiencing that change ( Click for more )
There is a misconception, or perhaps a kind of misassumption, that has come to be an albatross clinging to efforts to preach the gospel and to evangelize in our world. The misconception has increased in proportion to the degree that churches have become more organized and increased in numbers. It accounts for much of the explosion in numbers in some church entities. It has always been there to a greater or lesser degree, but today it has become a critical issue. It is not self evident. It is one of those things called a "sleeper" However, it is time to ( Click for more )
"If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth." - Colossians 3:1-2
Have you ever wondered just where you are with Jesus Christ? I mean REALLY- where are you in His sight? Can you really know? Is it possible for you to know all the time, and - to always know? Some of us could possibly say, ( Click for more )
"That you may show yourselves to be blameless and guiltless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish (faultless, unrebukable) in the midst of a crooked and wicked generation [spiritually perverted and perverse], among whom you are seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the [dark] world..." - Philippians 2:15
Our world is and always has been a dark place. Darkness fell on the whole world that day long ago, in the Garden. Since that time, humanity has been blinded (John 3:19-21). It often has also been, and is today ( Click for more )
"And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being]." - Romans 8:30
Why, or for what, has God foreordained me? Why did He call me? Why did He justify, put me in right standing with Himself? Why is my glorification accomplished? Even if true, why would God glorify me? Someone recently remarked to me that they believed ( Click for more )
"You also must be ready therefore, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him".- Matthew 24:44 How are the servants of Jesus Christ to be, and remain, "ready" for His coming? By providing spiritual food for His household, the household of God's children. It is to be at the right time, and the right food for the right household. The servants of God's household should not grow weary of serving His household. They are to guard against growing tired of "well doing" (Galatians 6:9:2 Thessalonians 3:13) and become discouraged and ( Click for more )
There is a war going on in places we would perhaps least expect. The specter of war and conflict is so universal and so all encompassing, so close and also so far, so prevalent, so common as part of events that it is simply expected to always be. The phenomenon of conflict touches everything physical. And unrealized by most, there are and will be unseen spiritual wars. There is constant warfare, struggles and strife within our bodies, in the seas, in the air, in the earth down deep, and in the dirt beneath our feet. Jesus promised that there would be wars and rumors of more wars. ( Click for more )
About a month and a half ago we concluded a series on "The Works of Grace", in which we examined from 2Peter one of the major functioning of grace in the life of very true Christian - the creation of the character of Jesus Christ in us. This is not Christ-like character, but the very same character that is in Him. Often this can be misunderstood as Christ likeness, which can lead to counterfeit humanistic qualities which strongly resemble God’s character, but in reality are "works of the flesh". Unfortunately, this is what passes for religion and much of ( Click for more )
"I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing." - John 15:11, AmplifiedBible
A minister friend told me about an experience he had while preaching a sermon. He did not tell me the sermon subject.. However, the subject apparently did not fit with what occurred in the process of delivering the sermon. Suddenly, he was stopped in midair, as it were, and paused. Then he was almost compelled to say, "WHERE is the JOY of our salvation!..." If I recall correctly, ( Click for more )
Music per se is one of those things capable of producing good and bad things in our lives. David used it to calm the evil spirit in Saul. Humans heal faster when hearing music. My father told me once that I would never be happy unless I included music in my life. He has been proven to be correct. I am thankful that God has given me a love for music. It has enriched my life more than I can express. Many foods and drinks act within the body as stimulants, and some as depressants. Music is a stimulant, that can bring up from the heart emotions both good and bad. There was an evil ( Click for more )
"The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance." - 2 Peter 3:9 Most everyone has heard of repentance at some time from someone in their lives. But what is it, really? Can it even be defined? Usually it takes the form of something that someone did - themselves, or someone that they heard about, someone who claimed to be a “Christian”. ( Click for more )
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad." - 2 Corinthians 5:10
Everyone who has ever lived will have to give an account of words, as well as deeds, before God, in a judgment. But what about our thoughts? Will we have to "give an account" of our thoughts, as well as our words and deeds? The Bible has much to say about our thoughts, as well as our words and actions. Matthew 12:36-37; Isaiah 55:6. We are commanded to "forsake" ( Click for more )
"For I never shrank or kept back or fell short from declaring to you the whole purpose and plan and counsel of God." (Acts 20:27 Amplified Bible)
We live in a society of "sound bites", video clips, instant messaging, and a pot pori of various and sundry "lnstants". TV commercials get shorter, with increasing glitz and lightening speed images - all compacted together within a very short time frame, and yet designed to have the greatest emotional impact. Truly, as someone has said, reality is what is perceived. The idea is to provoke us to ACT ( Click for more )
"And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, "Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, BECAUSE YOU DID NOT KNOW THE TIME OF YOUR VISITATION" (Luke 19:41-44 ESV).
I shudder to think of receiving a visit from Jesus Christ ( Click for more )
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