'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
Not too many years ago the English language was graced with a brand new word. (No, the title above is not an expletive, profanity, or the taking of an aspect of God's nature in vain...). That word is "EMPATHY". As for its origination or linguistic beginnings, this seems to be hazy - but it was probably born from the womb of necessity. And, when we understand, it must have been God's doing, for it fills in a blank in comprehending more fully how incredibly awesome, and wonderful God is!
The English Dictoinary has: "...the intellectual identification with or vicarious ( Click for more )
Two or three years ago I installed a painted picture as wallpaper on this computer. When I first saw it, it seemed so striking and beautiful, with a somewhat mysterious aura about it. A dirt road broad at the base and narrowing as it bent gently to the left and disappeared into a beautiful forest of vegetation. Indented into the road as it wound around are a set of single wagon tracks that finally disappeared along with the road into the forest - only one set of tracks, in this lonely but beautiful setting, going only one way, with no return set of tracks. The lighting, the colors, ( Click for more )
There is a section of God's Word that takes up so little space that it gives the impression of almost being an afterthought. Of course, there is no such thing as an "afterthought" in words that are God breathed. EVERY word is inspired - even the smallest Hebrew or Greek character is so, and Jesus Himself affirms it (Matthew 5:18; Luke 21:33}! But so it seems, with these few words:
"And crying again with a loud voice, Jesus released His spirit. And, behold! The veil of the temple was torn into two from above as far as below. And the earth quaked, ( Click for more )
What is your immediate reaction or feeling when you read or hear this five-letter word? For most, depending upon one's empirical life experiences, this can range from an uneasy neutral to a reaction of fear and dread. Some of the real and imagined perils of being alone were dramatized in the movie "Home Alone" which was a box office hit a few years ago. In support of the theme, Solomon did say that it is a frightening thing to be alone (Ecclesiastes 4:8-10). Forcing someone into total isolation has been used as a form of punishment or torture and has caused some ( Click for more )
Many years ago there was some what of a public debate concerning family life in America what involved child psychologists, parent groups, and eventually included Christian leaders and laity. It took on different forms and shapes, but essentially the discussion centered around one subject: undue familiarity between children and parents and between children and children within the home. This can be in relatively small things, to the most shocking occurrences of disrespect and abuse.
Specifics are unnecessary, but it has become abundantly evident that the undue intimacy proponents ( Click for more )
"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 ( Click for more )
Last week we discussed the enormity and the peril of the sin of unbelief - the greatest sin, the very first sin. In conclusion I implored the reader to BELIEVE. If you have not, I continue to pray that you will. If you have - now all things are possible (Mark 9:23)...
Believing has now empowered you! The very first thing that believing has done for you is to enable you to REPENT. There is an initial repentance or change of direction in your believing. But now repentance takes on a far greater and deeper profoundness and meaning. If you have truly believed, the Holy Spirit will ( Click for more )
Is it appropriate - or is it even possible - to define a "greatest sin"? After all, the Apostle James said that if we break even one of the commandments we have broken them all (James 2:10). However Jesus was asked which was the "greatest" commandment in the law, and then He proceeded to point out the greatest and the next to the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:35-39). So perhaps we will not go too far afield if we can discover a "greatest sin".
From the times of old many have attempted to categorize "sins". This seems so tempting, and ( Click for more )
Last week we looked at an amazing truth. All things – everything – past, present, and future, was, is and will be for your sake. This grand truth the world in general cannot believe it seems, even if everything it can view on earth and in the heavens screams out the glory of it all (Psalm 19:1-6). God chose us to become His children before the foundations of the world was laid. This fact strongly implies that the forming of the world was the consequence of God choosing to have sons and daughters, not the other way around. He created the earth, and many other things ( Click for more )
Have you realized that everything - EVERYTHING - in all creation, whatever has been created, or ever will be created, is for your sake? There is so much truth in that statement that an author wrote as a title to a book, “Your God Is Too Small”. To say that it just cannot be true that ALL things are for your sake (and mine), seems extreme in the least, even absurd. But if we do not believe it, then perhaps our God is too small. Notice a statement by the Apostle to both Jews and Gentiles: “For all [these] things are [taking place] for your sake, so that the ( Click for more )
Divisions often come from the unwarranted emphasis on a revealed truth from God’s Word.. This truth can become a catalyst for the formation of a group, members of which are deeply convinced that certain truth requires a greater emphasis than others. From this eventually comes divisiveness, cleavage, and finally separation from those not as convinced of the same need for the same emphasis on that truth. Cliques, fragmentation, disagreements, and finally a more or less complete separation, forming another group emphasizing a different order of importance for various truths, ( Click for more )
Fear and love are incompatible. One cannot exist permanently in the presence of the other
Many things and issues can cause the presence of fear. Memories of the past can preoccupy - if they are bad memories - and cause a kind of subconscious fear. This can be ruling our lives, and keeping love out without our awareness of its effect. Memories can be our master. Or memories can be our servant. As our master, we cannot love as God would have us to, whether it is love for Him, or love for others. Fear resists the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Love. Therefore, fear resists the Spirit ( Click for more )
Someone long ago, in Christ’s presence, longingly, perhaps desperately, pleaded, “Lord help my unbelief!” It is likely that many of us know, or have known of someone who has expressed something similar. Perhaps with different words, but the meaning and emotions are the same. Most of us who do believe in Jesus Christ for Who He was, is, and is doing long to see the day when friends, acquaintances, and loved ones will turn to Him for their only hope of eternal life. But the painful truth is, their ability to come to that kind of heart change involves something outside ( Click for more )
When you have lived out your appointed time on this earth, what is the first question Christ might ask about your life? Would it be how many obstacles you have overcome, which we know is important, or how many good things you have done for Him and His cause, which is also important? With all the challenges, trials, and setbacks in our lives, when we have exhausted all our options, struggled with seen and unseen enemies, dealt with trials and temptations in which we have won some and lost some, if we are alive, and Christ has not returned, its not over yet. There is one thing that ( Click for more )
When we are sick, ill, or just do not feel well, we all look for causes - or at least we should. We are often our own worst enemy in these things; the way we eat, the way we think, the way we do things, etc. But, we all desire to “get well”. We want to feel energetic, vibrant, alert and in top shape to meet life each and every day. If we feel bad enough, we look for healing. If we are believing Christians, we certainly will take it to Christ, lay it before Him and ask for our healing. As there is a sin “not unto death” 1 John 5:16-17), there are many ( Click for more )
There are many things in our lives that are both good and bad. For instance, food is good in and of itself. However, if we partake of too much food, or not enough, it can then become bad. This principle spans an almost endless number of things. A good thing, done the wrong way, used for wrong purpose, or used too much or too little of, can end in being a curse. Many things that a good and perfect and loving God created and made for our good, can be put to a wrong use, or applied incorrectly. The same detriment is encountered if something God created and meant to be used in a certain ( Click for more )
There is much said today - and rightly so - about God the Father and Jesus the Christ the Son. But often it seems that he third member of the Godhead is missing. Could it be that there is a lack of spiritual energy and power because we have inadvertently “grieved the Holy Spirit” by neglecting or ignoring Him? We do so at our spiritual peril (Ephesians 4:30). Could it be that we are among those to whom Paul addressed saying that he could not communicate to them spiritual things because they were yet carnal (1 Corinthians 3:1)? There are many references in 1 Corinthians ( Click for more )
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, did someone advise you prior to your decision that you should count the cost of becoming a Christian? Perhaps it was not needful in your case. You understood what it could mean, and were willing to surrender to Him, and do what He says you must do. But it seems that often the unconverted mind comprehends more about what it means to become a Christian, and calling Christ Lord, than some professing Christians. The unbeliever sees the cost. And is not willing to pay it. Some Christians, however, who have professed faith and submission to Christ ( Click for more )
There is a connecting thread recorded in God’s Word regarding “temple”, “tent”, and “tabernacle”. All are related, and intimately connect to God’s people from the ancient times of Israel’s sojourn, and forward to today. The difference in words refer to the same thing, but the usage depends on the times and conditions in which they are referred to. As God so often does, He uses the physical to teach us about the spiritual. This is commonly known as type and anti-type - the method of using the seen to picture the unseen is one ( Click for more )
A few years ago an award winning movie came out entitled ”Unforgiven”. Have you ever felt that you have not been forgiven by someone? Most of us have experienced either a spoken unforgiving or an unspoken unforgiveness by someone at some time in our lives. It is a most painful cross to bear - knowing we are not guilty as charged by someone. Equally painful is someone’s refusal to forgive us when we are truly sorry for an offense, and then not being forgiven when we ask to be forgiven. Have you ever felt somehow that you have not been forgiven by God? Do you know ( Click for more )
Grace enables our Godly fear, which empowers obedience (Deuteronomy 10:12-17). Law alone hardens the heart unless and until it is softened by Christ, Who lifts the veil from a hard heart. Emphasis and dependence upon Law alone to make us obedient will fail.. Approached in this way, it will only "veil" our hearts, and harden us to the Spirit of Christ. From Paul we can see that there seemed to be both approaches in the church at Corinth when he wrote his second letter to them. Hence the cause for his terminology and tone in 2 Corinthians 3:5-18. There were orthodox ( Click for more )
Continuing from last time with 1 Corinthians 13:8, Paul makes one of the most profound, all encompassing, even shocking declarations in the Bible: “Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].” (v. 8) Beginning in this verse, he is systematically leading to an inescapable conclusion. ( Click for more )
There is perhaps no other four letter word that is so revered, so misapplied, misused, and maligned by misuse, than the word “love”. It is used to sell products, to describe relationships of all kinds, and to describe any and every human (or non-human) emotion that can be imagined. When it is spoken or written, or read, the definition is almost totally subjective. The meaning is whatever the person, the media, the church, or the world want it to mean. It is another one of many things that is used, misused, and abused - sometimes almost beyond belief. Sometimes those ( Click for more )
Recently we discussed in this column the wonderful truth about the Law of Christ - the glorious reality that He sums up everything regarding God’s Law. And not only so, but the time will come when all things will brought up into Him again. It was once so before there was a world, before anything was or is. (Colossians 1:16-20) There is another attribute of Christ, one that we may also participate in. Indeed we must do so. We may also receive the mind of Christ. One may ask, are they not the same - the Law of Christ and the Mind of Christ? Strictly speaking, no. One is the ( Click for more )
What do you dream of? What have you dreamed of? When we take time to think about it, all want their dreams to come true. Young or old, rich or poor, its universal. We all are born with an innate, mostly unexpressed longing for______fill in the blank. There is a Devine purpose for it all, as we shall see. And then we long for, or attempt to make, the dream come true. Sometimes they do. Often they do not - even after a lifetime of struggle. Sometimes partly, or almost. But not the perfect dream we started with. Even if the dream "came true", maybe, just maybe, it would ( Click for more )
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