'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
So many in the world today are convinced that when they die, they die all over, and will dwell in an eternal unconsciousness, in the dust of the earth. To coin a phrase, “when your dead your dead…”. My hope and prayer today as I write these words is that you are not of the same persuasion. Because, absolutely nothing could be farther from the truth. When properly understood, one never really “dies”. In the natural desire that God created within every human being, everyone would like to know for sure about the hereafter. Many, if not most, who will ( Click for more )
The last few weeks we have discussed as an overview the Christian’s journey. The journey from conviction by the Holy Spirit, to being convinced in the mind by the same Spirit, and the receiving into the human spirit the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This constitutes a new beginning, a new creation, as a child has his/her beginning in the womb of the mother. The process of growth and development in the womb is typical of our growth as we live a life of surrender and maturing to finally be completely born into the family of God, by instant change (if still alive), or at the resurrection, ( Click for more )
The Eternal God has built into His physical realm a type of everything He is doing in the spiritual realm. A pattern, if you will. We are all familiar with patterns. We deal with or work with some kind of pattern almost every day. A seamstress is very familiar with patterns. Some perform their work from a pattern. Others are gifted with being able to create a pattern for others to use. Architects must have a pattern - a blueprint in order to successfully construct or repair physical structures. We can learn much about the spiritual realm by meditating upon God's patterns that He has ( Click for more )
"When the world seems cold, and your friends seem few, There is someone who cares for you; He will come down from the sky, and brush the tears from your eyes; Your His child...and He cares for you" These words, taken from a gospel melody of many years ago are as true today as they were then. Some seem to feel that being referred to as a "child" is humiliating, even demeaning. They resent being called a child of God, feeling being childish is implied. They feel that being weak is implied. Perhaps this is an indication of how far society has drifted away from ( Click for more )
In one of the parables that Jesus spoke is one that seems puzzling at first. It can seem even more puzzling when we attempt to apply the meaning to our lives and relationships within the body of Christ. Notice: “He presented them with another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a person who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, an enemy came and sowed weed among the wheat and went away. When the plants sprouted and bore grain, then the weeds also appeared. So the slave of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good ( Click for more )
Throughout the Apostle Paul’s thirty plus years of taking the gospel to Israel and the Gentiles, he followed a clearly defined sequence in presenting the gospel. This order can also be applied to the whole life of a Christian. It is important to take notice of the sequence in Paul statement of his ministry. “You know that I did not hold back from proclaiming to you anything that would be helpful, and from teaching you publicly and from house to house, testifying to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus.” - Acts 20:21 ( Click for more )
For some, it seems very difficult to enjoy life and living. There can be an almost endless number of reasons - health, making ends meet, difficulties over relationships, abuse or criticisms from others, persecutions. The list could go on and on. Some despair over disappointments in life. Expectations are not met. Plans fail. Depressions begin. Life seems sometimes just not worth the living. But the Bible has much to say about being joyful. Many of the direct references to being joyful are found in the Psalms. There is a side to David that we often overlook. That is his proclivity ( Click for more )
Everyone looks forward to a reunion. Whether it is a reunion of family, a class reunion, a reunion of former military personnel, or of fellow employees who worked together many years ago, it is a unique and unsurpassed high point in life. There is another reunion coming. One which will be grand beyond any that we can have individually. This reunion is one that has been planned by God from eternity; one that you and I can be a part of if we endure. The need and purpose for this reunion is laid out in the Bible, and is one of the most astounding examples of God’s providence ( Click for more )
How would you feel if everyone you grew up with, have met since, and that know you now, considered you to be the most important person in the world to them - better than a favorite rock star, movie star, political candidate? What if the person who greets you at a business establishment, a sales person, or a stranger you meet on the street, was so genuinely interested in you, and considerate of you, that they put you ahead of themselves? It would be a different world. That kind of world is not here yet, of course - but there a little part of the world where this is - or should be ( Click for more )
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"). There was ( Click for more )
Last week we discussed an unseen war - a war extending perhaps to the unseen and unknown reaches of what we call the Universe itself. Another physical war (although of spiritual origin) within every cell or every organ of our bodies. This includes the physical brain of every human. However, every human brain contains what the Bible refers to as a “spirit” (Job 32:8). As incomprehensible as it seems, the vastness of the human brain exceeds in complexity the Universe of the heavens above us. Even as astronomers continue to discover new wonders of the Universe, so also ( Click for more )
Have you ever sensed that something was occurring around you that made you uneasy? Or perhaps something in your life that just does not make sense, that you could not really describe to someone else? Most of the time such sensations are based in altered emotions by outside influences. Usually there is a logical explanation. The explanation can vary from something we ate, to an unpleasant (or pleasant) encounter, or just not being able to put pieces together in an issue. Usually these feelings are forgotten, and we go on with our lives and routine. However, there are activities ( Click for more )
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 )
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