'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
"And Ben-hadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it. And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Ben-hadad, Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine. And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I am thine and all that I have" (1 Kings 20:1-4 KJV) .
Here we see an incident in the long ( Click for more )
"It's hard to be humble when you as great as I am...I'm humble and proud of it!"
Most of us have heard these humorous statements, or something similiar at one time or another. They usually elicit a laugh or chuckle because they portray the antithesis of humility as we feel we understand it. I have often wondered why they strike us as being funny - could it be that down deep inside us we realize we really ARE NOT humble. Or, that it is absurd to consider that we or anyone else COULD be. This would imply a belief that we somehow DO understand what it is -at least for us. ( Click for more )
We have all heard the expression "four letter words". There was a time when "four letter words" were held to be shameful, or at the very least in poor taste. Whether communicating in private conversation or public discourse, they were generally shunned. We all know the ones I’m referring to. The ones once considered vulgar and demeaning to the one speaking them, notwithstanding those to whom these words were spoken TO.
There is another four letter word that has caused much more shame, discouragement, recrimination, and mental anguish perhaps than ( 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 )
During the 1800’s an event occurred that has been called one of the all-time tragedies of American history. It is referred to in this way, not necessarily because it was the largest, but primarily because of the depth of the sorrow and suffering of those involved. Also, it was so tragic because of the seeming cruelty and insensitivity of those who were directly or indirectly responsible. The suffering was so intense that it is simply called "The Trail of Tears". The event concerns the trek of a tribe of American Indians from their normal habitations toward the north ( Click for more )
Why should there have ever been sacrifice - of any kind, of anything, ever? Why was there ever a need for such? The word "sacrifice" can strike uneasiness and even fear in many of us depending upon our nature, our circumstances, our experiences. It is a very good question. The simple answer is, God planned it that way. If that seems an over simplification, it is, and it isn't. Most of us do not want to hear that we will need to sacrifice something or for something, or someone, or for a principal, etc. However, many are willing ( Click for more )
There is a time spoken of in God’s Word (some consider it a doctrine), that is all too often unknown to some, overlooked by some, and ignored by others. This span of time is referred to specifically, even including the exact duration of time involved. It has often been noted that the Old Testament essentially is ABOUT Jesus Christ. Jesus informed the Jews emphatically of this fact (John 5:39)!
When the Old Testament scriptures do refer to Jesus, it is many times connecting Him to this SPECIFIC period of time. That period of time is a thousand years - called by most Christians ( Click for more )
The Not Said According to the book of Ecclesiastes, there is time for everything under the sun. The older I get, the more the word time seems to mean. Solomon said, in summary, all that should be said, all that is important to life and living. He left nothing out that needed to be said. He was not attempting to orchestrate by omission, but to emphasize by being concise. For the subject he is addressing, there is no “not said”. What he said was the conclusion of the issue altogether (“all has been said” - “let us hear the conclusion of the matter"). ( Click for more )
“Think how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze. And the tongue is a fire! The tongue represents the world of wrong doing among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the entire body and sets fire to the course of human existence - and is set on fire by hell” - James 3:9-13 (NET), Empires have risen and fallen by a few words! A life can be destroyed or damaged irreparably just by a few words. Words wound and afflict, or sooth and heal. Relationships can be crushed and turned to sorrow and regret in an unguarded moment, by just a wrong word. Words can lead to other ( Click for more )
This week will pick up where we ended last week, by examining the subject of closeness. Closeness was mentioned as we ended as the real issue of our life in Christ, and His life in us. God has always had a relationship with that which was originally created in His image. Mankind has been so blinded to their Creator’s interaction with it that they in general do not know Him, or even believe He exists. God’s Word has a one-word description of this condition (Psalm 14:1). And yet, with all this being so, He still loves them to the uttermost (John 3:16; 13:1). The disciples ( Click for more )
There are many ways to define and evaluate what is described as faith - great, little, selective, momentary, abiding, general, specific - each a gift of a measure of faith by grace for the time ("you will tread upon serpents", "drink deadly things", etc.). Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water, Peter had faith without doubt and this must have pleased Jesus. Peter gave up for Jesus all he was, and all he had at the time (Matthew 14:28-31)! However, temporary great faith suddenly became little. ( Click for more )
We hear much today about sovereignty, but little about providence. Perhaps that is because of the real meaning of each.. Sovereignty has the meaning of complete independence, hence nations refer to themselves as “sovereign”, as do kings, and even other lesser mortals. Providence is sometimes taken to mean something that occurs without an apparent reason or cause, but something good that is believed to be fate, or of the supernatural - not necessarily of God. However, only God fits the ultimate meaning of both. He the ultimate combination of sovereignty and providence. ( Click for more )
You have heard it. It is true. Every event, conflict, or problem in your live and mine - and the world - is spiritual at its core. Things may seem otherwise, at least at first. But by digging a little deeper, and by thinking about the issues, they all seem to have to do with attitudes, states of mind, and thought patterns when all the dust settles. When we really think about it, it is a spiritual problem. Mostly, spiritual problems are “people problems”. The problem with the “problem” is that spiritual things are invisible. What we see is coming from something ( Click for more )
Why can’t others understand what you are going through? Why can’t others empathize with you in your circumstances, difficulties, troubles and trials?
We are tempted to wonder at times if there is anyone in the whole wide world who would understand, even if we tried to explain it all. Most of the time perhaps, we prefer not to explain or to tell anyone - except God, hopefully. Even when we do try to share a difficult situation, we can get a gaze that tempts us to want to ask, "is there anyone there"? Does anyone know what I’m talking about, or understands ( Click for more )
Sometimes, within families of several children, a parent, no matter how they try, cannot manifest a perceived impartiality. Children internalize this is bias (real or imagined), and often it as internalized as a lack of love, or as not being loved as much as other children. This can lead to an array of problems. There can be scars that last a lifetime. As any parent knows, this is almost always not true. However, can family love actually be qualitative and quantitative? Is love within God’s family this way? Is God’s love this way? To understand, we must turn to God and ( Click for more )
How many times have we heard someone exclaim, "Oh! I need a rest..."! In an effort to claim tongue-in-cheek sympathy, someone may comment, "well, there IS no rest for the wicked (quoting a passage from scripture), and the righteous don’t need it!". It may or may not be a joke, depending on the people and circumstances. It seems so often, no matter where we go or who we encounter, we hear "I’m just - tired", or as I heard recently, "I need a vacation!". Vacations are seldom long enough. It is said that it requires at least two weeks ( Click for more )
A small group of young men in a country far removed from the Western world had gathered to visit and discuss events of the day in their lives. They were sitting in a circle, so that one might not seem of more importance than another, they said. Looking on was an American who was struck by the scene as the meeting progressed, and more so as he realized how rare to see and hear such a spectacle occurring before his eyes. As the meeting progressed in a joyful tone, peppered with gentle humor and chuckling, he began to realize the secret they shared that seemed to enable such joy and ( Click for more )
Recently we discussed the difficulties and dangers involved in practicing a spiritual subjectivism, and the necessity of accepting the Bible as “God breathed” along with emphasis on the role of the Holy Spirit, realizing they are both one in Jesus Christ. In accepting the Bible as God-breathed, a question often arises about the Bible itself. Referring to the Bible as “self” seems permissible since it is indwelt by Christ Himself (John 6:31). There is a corresponding, although different, danger in handling the written Word of God as well. A similar subjectivism ( Click for more )
“Then Pilate said, ‘So you are a king!’ Jesus replied, ‘You say that I am a king. For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world - to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.' Pilate asked, ‘What is truth?” - John 18:37 To the world, truth is either scientific, or something is true only if the world accepts the evidence as true. This is the reason many do not accept the Bible as a basis for truth. Perhaps Jesus knew that Pilate was the consummate "postmodernist" of his time. ( Click for more )
For a long time a condition has been developing in the Christian community that can undermine faith and spiritual growth, and mislead many of those beginning to come to trust in Jesus Christ unto eternal life. It can seem so legitimate to some, but at its root it is Satanic in its effect. This has occurred slowly, hence the progressive acceptance of it as being a valid and proper approach to living a Christian life, and being a Christian. For lack of a more sophisticated description, I will call it Cafeteria Christianity (or Smorgasbord Christianity). The whole spectrum of it, since ( Click for more )
Often in the task of living in today’s world, many struggle with what they feel is unanswered prayer - prayer for themselves, for others, for activities, etc., that may be desperately important. We all want the answer to unanswered prayer. At times - sometimes - it has helped some to recall the refrain of a melody that affirms that “one of God’s greatest gifts is unanswered prayer”. But for others, the “sound of silence” seems the only response from God that can be heard, and it seems impossible to see it as a gift from God - at least at first. ( Click for more )
Last week we looked briefly at the conditions that God’s Word reveals will be extant in the church in general in the last days. These things were occurring then as a type - with the antitype to be occurring and progressively intensifying, at the very end time of the "end times" (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2). There is a time for all things "under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 3:1). All things include God’s "things", that will bring to a close the times and seasons for bringing sin to final judgment, and His children into His eternal family.
In ( Click for more )
There is a direct relationship between conditions during the end times, and the phenomenon of spiritual darkness. Whether one believes we are living in the "end time" or not (we are certainly closer to it today than yesterday), 2 Peter 2 is very relevant to our world and our lives today. In reality we have been in the "end time" ever since Jesus died on the cross. It seems timely then, for a close look at 2 Peter 2.
Peter’s first epistle (see Archives "Works Of Grace") was written to explain to God’s people the process of ( Click for more )
There are several "lonely" portions of God’s Word. They are lonely because they are seldom visited. Some are lonely because of their seeming boring repetitiousness, lengthy genealogies, or they seem so self-explanatory. Others are not visited because they make one feel guilty, or just nervous or uncomfortable. Being comfortable with our Christian label has been sold as part of the package of being converted, being baptized, joining the church, etc. We subconsciously stay away these lonely ones. Something inside us is saying they could apply to us. Some scriptures ( Click for more )
In the movie entitled "Patton", General Patton is portrayed as excitedly saying to himself concerning a successful tank battle that he had read the opposing German Field Marshal’s book! He thus attributed his success to having read the Field Marshal’s tactics, and therefore knew what he would do in advance. This would provide a great advantage to say the least! Other leaders have written of their plans in advance - some notorious, some almost unknown. Our Creator God has also written His plan for His creation in His Book. He has also written His tactics and ( Click for more )
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