'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
Looking back at some of the history of modern popular music, there is one song that stands out above others. At least in one respect. Especially the words. As I recall the full title is “I Did I My Way”. In some respects, there is and has not been a more descriptive five word description of American (and other) societies. From the American founding fathers until now, doing it “my way” has been the way, or at least largely so. The phrase implies freedom, under law, that few others in the world have ever experienced. It is the mercy and benevolence of God ( Click for more )
So many of us have or have had to struggle over prayer. Even with an understanding of Matthew 6, and Bibical example of long and short prayers, the right attitude as we pray, the proper place to prayer (other than a private place as Christ discribed), and even the proper position - should one stay on the knees, or stand and look upward, or even prostrate on the floor or ground - even with all this, prayer to many is a well know mystery. A dear sister in Christ more than once spoke of her prayer life as conversations in the middle of a restless night, as she spoke to Jesus personally, ( Click for more )
All down through history, no one has been able to find God - the true God - unless God first finds them. Israel agonizing in bondage in Egypt waited four hundred years for their God to find them to deliver them. They had not found God because they had not looked for Him. Others may have looked for a god created in their own image, or one that they can manipulate and control, or that they can worship without obedience, or just something they can see. But the time finally in Israel for God to give them a heart to leave their bondage.
This is made abundantly clear also by the way ( Click for more )
“And He [that same Jesus Himself] is the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins, and not for ours alone but also for [the sins of] the whole world.” - 1 John 2:2 (AB) Could there be a more profound and all encompassing thought than this?
Jesus Christ died and paid for the sin of ALL the world!
This verse seems to be out of context with the structure of 1 John 2. It seems to clash with other scriptures, including some of Jesus’ statements. Conversely, this verse seems to be a foundational principle for universalism - all will eventually ( Click for more )
It seems there is no end to opinions and controversies about grace. Large sections of Christendom have always attempted to define what it is, what it does (if anything), why it is received, and who receives it and why. Lets look briefly at two aspects of "grace".
First, a simple definition: grace spiritually speaking, refers to someone who receives completely unmerited, undeserved, and unearned favor from God. From this point on, many things concerning grace (the grace of God) get at best murky, and at worst completely incomprehensible. Out of all this, one thing seems ( Click for more )
It has often been observed that it seems bad things happen to good people, which contradicts our sense of justice, as does good things happening to bad people. "Troubles trouble us all" goes a popular gospel song. And so they do.
But no matter what they may be, or the shape they may come in, they are not worthy. Or, as we could say, they are just not worth considering, or pondering, or dwelling on to any degree at all. They are not worthy to be compared with the absence of all trouble that is to come. Jesus was a "man of sorrows" as a man. But He became God ( Click for more )
There is a conventional wisdom in our world today. It goes something like this: when people begin to get old (whatever that is), they have the tendency to look back rather than forward. They revel in memories of of yesteryear, what “used to be”, and how much better it was “back then...”.Many times it seems that it does not make much difference what those times really were – life is in the eye of the beholder. They tend toward living on memories - sometimes good memories, sometimes bad memories. Some lives have been so traumatic, and memories so painful, ( Click for more )
There are some "hard sayings" in the Word of God. Jesus Himself made a statement that has been very difficult for some to accept. In fact, this statement has turned some away from a developing interest in becoming a Christian - it was just too much to grasp, and seemed contrary to all the sensitivities of what they had heard about God, Jesus, and Christianity. Notice Jesus' strong words:
"Now large crowds were accompanying Jesus and turning to them he said, "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers ( Click for more )
A brilliant and accomplished Bible translator and scholar had been presenting a series of lectures and studies at a very large church. After completing several sections of a presentation which was designed to continue for several months, he revealed a basic change in his format. Henceforth there would be an extended teaching and discussion after each study with the title: “Application”. For many months he had been given much knowledge of the Scriptures. However, someone now had asked him an all important question - how do we APPLY what we have been taught?
This indeed ( Click for more )
In the course of daily living it is sometimes astounding as well as disheartening to see the almost universal disregard of God by the world. Truly sheep without a shepherd, in a darkness unknown to them, and yet it is known. The darkness seems like light, and the light of God appears as darkness. Most are oblivious to any awareness that they are only a “heartbeat away from eternity”. The things of God, in whatever context God can be considered, as the Apostle Paul said “are foolishness to him” (1Corinthian 3:19). There are many reasons for this - the blinding ( Click for more )
Shortly following WW2 the Chaplain of the United States Senate said during a prayer before the opening session: "Lord...help us to turn - for we are hard to turn..."
The memory of the horrors of that war must have been fresh on his mind, as the U. S. and the world set out to learn from it and, where necessary "to turn...". However, he must have sensed how extremely difficult and daunting it was going to be to learn from the mistakes of the past, and to turn from them to a better way. History since then has spoken - were we turned? Has the world been turned? ( Click for more )
"A man is as good as his word; as good as his word is he. If man is as good as his word, he's good enough for me. A solemn promise he's bound to keep; or else he never could fall asleep. He'll keep his promise as best he knows; and what he sows, so shall he reap." - Sound Track, movie "Comanche"
Whoever wrote these words had at least a passing acquaintance with the Bible (Galatians 6:7). In this we should rejoice, whoever it was. As was said of one of Russia's leaders under communism years ago when he did something which seemed out of character and rather ( Click for more )
God’s written Word - the Bible - has been given through the Holy Spirit, as "light" to all mankind. It is the living Word of Jesus, who IS the light of all the world, as we saw in part one last week. It is THE "lighthouse" for the stormy and frightening sea of this world - the only way to the shore for safety.. It is the compass, the point of reference for all humanity. So many analogies could be made, and still not remotely express the importance of the Bible. It is the only way home (John 1:1,9-11)...
True Christians, as God’s children, are to ( Click for more )
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it". (Amos 8:11-12)
This prophecy is understood by some to be duel in application. This occured to Israel, but also presents a type of a greater fulfilment in the future. What if there were NO Word of God? What if it could not be found? What if there was ( Click for more )
It is difficult to imagine going through a day using or hearing the English word "time", or one of it forms.It is even more universal in usage that the word "fix’, which has come to have double or triple meanings or applications for many Americans. It is truly amazing how a word which is an intangible, has come to be applied to so many tangibles. Reference to time ranges from every day communication to eloquent quotations by leaders, kings, and statesmen throughout history. From the ringing of an alarm clock with its "time to get up" exclamation, to ( Click for more )
There is a proverb from long ago (not from the Bible) which goes something like this: "The more things change, the more they stay the same". It seems self-contradictory. Essentially, the sweep of history comes down to today with the same of almost everything, only recast into another form that magnifies, expands, and intensifies the original - or something similar thereto. This would seem to agree in principle with the book of Ecclesiastes (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10).
There is something afoot today that certainly seems new in many ways, but as noted above it is not really ( Click for more )
Many have wondered when reading the biblical record of God’s dealings with nations, kings, individuals - and especially Israel -why did He use one nation or tribe after another to punish Israel, and then use a different nation to punish the punisher. Decades or centuries later, God then used Israel in turn to punish and utterly destroy the same nation that punished Israel. There seems to be a continuous cycle of nations of the world rising and then falling. Some rise again, only to fall again - usually by the attacks from other nations that previously rose and then fell and ( Click for more )
To stumble is almost as common as breathing. For the young, for those who are elderly, and those in between - all have or probably will, stumble. It is interesting that most stumbling seems to occur within the two "bookend" groups. The young and the elderly are either end. Those in the in-between category are more agile, alert, and experienced in avoiding stumbling. And, that over which they stumble can take an almost endless form. So we have the coined phrase "stumbling block" which is used to cover it all. Children almost always stumble learning to walk. Horses ( Click for more )
There is someone - at this very moment - who is struggling for something. It is not a struggle for more money, a better job, a better automobile, a more ostentatious home, more things, more friends (or fewer enemies), happiness, a higher high, more intense thrills, more fun. It is not a struggle to loose weight, to gain weight, to have fewer wrinkles, to have more hair (in the right places), look younger, be more admired and popular, or to receive praise. This struggle is for (if I may borrow a line from a recent movie), "just one thing"...
You might ( Click for more )
It is said that one of the most striking phenomenon of outer space is silence - an almost unbearable SILENCE... of all the limitless expanse of space, with an endless array of galaxies and other elements being created and form, always moving at unimaginable speed - with all of this, there is just - silence! Without an atmosphere to conduct what humans call "sound" - it is just silence. Often I have gazed up at a silent sky on a clear night, and could hear my own heart beat - even with some minimal background sounds. It can be very moving, even to tears in praise and worship ( Click for more )
We hear (and see) much about "law" today. This is an enigma in a sense because there seems to be so much lack of lawfulness. One would think that with so many allusions and so much exposure to the word, there would be lawfulness Unfortunately this is not the case. The law seems powerless to make society lawful.
With all law there is a flaw (no pun or poetry intended)! The evidence for this is overwhelming!
There is an great deal in the Bible about law - especially in the Old Testament, and in reference to Israel in particular. Most Christians are at least generally ( Click for more )
“For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20 NET) Someone is our Maker. There cannot be something that exist without a first cause, regardless of attempts of some to wiggle around it. That first cause is an almighty God. Because He is our Maker, he loves what He has made. We as the pinnacle of what He has made are His primary interest, but He has filled His Word with assurances that He loves, ( Click for more )
During some recent conversations, comments seemed to drift toward the past. The drifts were similar - a kind of reflective remembering, even a melancholy longing for past years, events, and times. Whether the past was primarily positive or negative, we still lingered on the past. Some felt they were loosing their grip on the present. Perhaps the past was better. Perhaps they could even to return to there past. But if we get to the past, we may find that there may be no one there.
Long after Israel had been delivered from Egyptian bondage, God over and over commanded them to focus ( Click for more )
Why - and how - is love the fulfilling of the Law? Some have tried to live as though the Law fulfills love, which will utterly fail to fulfill the genuine love of God (Romans 13:8-10).
The answer lies in what love really is (to be a little redundant), and what the love of God does. If we possess the love of God, we do not have to struggle to perform works of the Law. Obeying God's laws will become automatic - because that is what Love does. If we attempt to fulfill love by focusing only on the Law, we will miss love. This becomes, in the final result, legalism. However, we cannot ( Click for more )
We have heard about “third world” countries - those supposedly not as modern, or economically on a par with larger and more prosperous nations. Supposedly, other countries or peoples are occupants of some other world, either a “first’ or a “second” world. There is coming a kind of third world that is almost unimaginable, and an eternity away from today’s worlds. How ironic that the “third world” that Jesus Christ will create will be diametrically the opposite - in every sense of the word! But the other “Third World” ( Click for more )
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