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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

June 6, 2021

After weeks of scorching heat and baking sunshine, I lifted my head at the faint scent of moisture in the air. I wasn't wrong because a tree frog began an anxious croaking. He smelled it too, and began rejoicing over that first drop of water before it even fell. Then the thunder cracked with an earth-shaking boom. The first drops of rain tickled my arms, but I was too weak at the moment to do anything but thank God for the rain. Rain began lightly enough, refreshment for the parched ground and sending up a wonderful fragrance that perfumed the air... a glorious perfume of…  ( Click for more )

May 30, 2021

God justifies a person on their faith alone. We see this all through the Old Testament as evidenced in Hebrews 11. Anyone who believes God, and believes Jesus died for and took care of our sins, and believes Jesus is the Son of God Who raised Him from the dead is justified from that instant of belief. Being justified must happen in order to enter into God’s rest (Heaven). We know this because believing God was a prerequisite for the Children of Israel to enter the Promised Land. (Let us not mistake why Moses did not enter. The only reason Moses did not enter was because of…  ( Click for more )

Now, the sacrifice that Jesus made willingly of His life was to satisfy the Law. It paid for all the sins ever to be committed, from Adam until the end of time. Hebrews href="https://pro.studylight.org/study-desk.html?t=amp&s=0&sr=1&q=Hebrews+9%3A">Hebrews 9 explains it in detail. The sacrificial blood of goats and bulls was only the shadow of Jesus' sacrifice. Here, see this... 9:14 by how much more the blood of Christ (who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God), will purify your conscience from dead works, to serve the living God! From verse…  ( Click for more )

May 16, 2021

Here is how I understand it... Absolutely the spirit ascends now to be with the LORD. Paul said to die is gain and it is to be with Him. David spoke of his dead son that he would go to be with him, so what was the point of weeping? But the difference between David and Paul is Jesus death and resurrection. David is before the resurrection and Paul is after. Before Jesus was resurrected, the sacrifices were in place and were necessary to foretell, be a shadow of Jesus, but were never good enough to cancel out sins. After Jesus died on the cross, God was completely satisfied…  ( Click for more )

Don't do as I did.

So much of the time we think once we're saved...well, then, life is a bowl of cherries and there are no pits. Well, that's just wrong. God took my hand when I was six years old. I was practically born at church. Every time the doors were open, we were in church. One day I had had enough of church. Going to church made me feel raunchy and I just didn't want it anymore. I was 6 and I knew everything. I made the announcement to my Mom when we got home from Wednesday night service. This concerned her so much that she started asking questions and started talking…  ( Click for more )

Paul gives great encouragement to the Romans by telling them to glory in the afflictions because afflictions brings about patience. Ever prayed for patience? Then you know that praying that prayer brings on trials and tribulations. That Greek word isqliÛyiv –Thlipsis -- translated tribulation means a pressing, pressing together, pressure metaph. oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits

In the New Testament it is translated as tribulation but it is also translated as: affliction, 14; afflictions, 6; anguish, 1; distress, 2; persecution,…  ( Click for more )

April 25, 2021

When something needs doing I want to get cracking and get it done… Especially if it's distasteful. I hate waiting. I hate it when I’ve put in my order and it takes more than 10 minutes to get my coffee and biscuit. I hate it when I’ve asked God to do something and He just sits there. So often it seems that He is completely ignoring me. I want to say, “Hey! Up there! I’m here needing You to DO something and You aren’t even paying attention to me. What’s going on? You promised to answer all my prayers if I just pray according to Jesus. Do I…  ( Click for more )

Matthew 5:18... Not one jot or tittle will pass away until all is fulfilled. The last thing that is written about in Revelation after Satan is thrown into the lake of fire, is the image of the New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven, and the new heaven and new earth. In Matthew 5:18, Jesus speaks of heaven and earth passing away...

My point is: Even though Jesus will be King of Kings on earth and reign, the Torah will still be in effect until the old heaven and the old earth pass away. Jesus came to fulfill the law not to abolish it. Ezekiel tells us a little bit about this…  ( Click for more )

April 11, 2021

Arrogantly, I wrote a column about sin in the church and how to face it. When I wrote that, I was inspired by something Charles Stanley has said in one of his sermons several years ago. I think I have almost every note I've ever written while listening to a sermon.Those notes come in quite handy when facing problems and trials in everyday life as well as inspiration for my writings. I alluded to the problem in my church several weeks ago while everything was still raw. I did not want to write anything more specific until my wrath had cooled somewhat and I had spent lots of time in…  ( Click for more )

What is the superiority of the Jew? What is the profit of circumcision? Paul asks these rhetorical questions in Romans chapter 3. Then he answers them in the following verses in stating that the Jews were trusted with the Word of God. Imagine how great a trust this was from God to these people.

God is no respecter of persons, yet He did choose Israel. He did give His words to Moses, He was a Pillar of Fire by night and a Pillar of Cloud by day for 40 years. He performed miracles in the wilderness and in the Promised Land. He settled within the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle…  ( Click for more )

March 28, 2021

Paul explains in Romans 1 that those who choose their own desires and worship idols instead of the Lord God are allowed that pursuit. God gives them up and releases them. The Gospel is God's power working toward salvation and this is to “everyone who believes with a personal trust and confident surrender and firm reliance.” This is the foundation Paul lays before he tackles the evilness that man is capable of. But God's wrath and indignation are revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who, in their wickedness repress and hinder the righteousness…  ( Click for more )

March 21, 2021

There is a soreness like a tooth which has rotted to the bone in my soul. I have felt this twice before. It is called Spiritual Warfare. If you have not experienced it then you are still too young in Christ for it, or perhaps things may not be completely aligned within God’s will in your life. I don’t want to sound harsh, but it is a bald fact. Satan wants to kill, steal and destroy all things godly. He is ever at work, and never tires.

Satan loves to wiggle into a church body to cause havoc and unrest. He plants cancerous cells within the church, and a healthy,…  ( Click for more )

March 14, 2021

Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, a called apostle, separated to the gospel of God I have heard many arguments against Paul being a true apostle of God. I'm thinking that Paul was not thinking about his old name Saul which has a nuance of being called for. No... I am thinking that Paul was a true blue Apostle with a capital letter A. Although, Paul had to defend himself and the title because, it seems that many in his day refuted his claim to the title else why would he write, 1 Corinthians 9:1 Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen our Lord Jesus…  ( Click for more )

Anyone ever notice that Paul's sentences go on and on forever but they make such great sense? Romans 1:1 Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ, a called apostle, separated to the gospel of God, A slave of Jesus. I have often thought that being a slave was a bad thing. Then after studying this a while, I realize just how much freedom there is in being a slave to Christ. Freedom to choose the path with Him being the light of my path and the Lamp to my feet. Freedom that decisions are so much simpler because I love Him and I want to please Him. What do you think about being…  ( Click for more )

February 28, 2021

I retrieved this from one of my columns I wrote for the Picayune Item when I was the Lifestyles Editor. I had written a portion of it one day when I was in a Christian forum that I and two friends owned. Christians were going at each other with little respect for each other, and full of judgments which had no basis. I recognized a monster within me that held nothing of my LORD and Savior’s character and every characteristic of the Devil. Surprisingly, I received several acknowledgments that this particular column hit some sore spots. My aunt called me and told me her pastor…  ( Click for more )

February 21, 2021

There is a promise of peace to Israel who is currently dispersed into the nations, scattered around the world. Isaiah prophesied that Israel would need a much larger space because her descendants would be coming home and inheriting the nations.

Conversely, the children of the desolate (that is the Gentiles, Goyim) far out number those of the married woman (Israel). Israel was charged with being the Light of the World and of converting others to know God. Yet, they got confused with God’s command to have nothing to do with the inhabitants of Canaan. They were legalistic…  ( Click for more )

February 14, 2021

Many folks are so wrapped up in End Times discussions (and fighting) over whether the Rapture will be pre-, mid-, or post-Tribulation that they forget entirely that there will be 1,000 years of glorious peace and righteous reigning of Jesus Christ our Lord where every knee will bend, every head will bow, and every tongue confess Him as Lord. How exciting that will be! Can you imagine it?

Paul clearly believed that once death embraced us, we would instantly be with Jesus: Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22If I am to go on living in the body,…  ( Click for more )

February 7, 2021

Matthew 5:18... Not one jot or tittle will pass away until all that is prophesied and ordained by God is fulfilled. The last thing that is written about in Revelation after Satan is thrown into the lake of fire, is the image of the New Jerusalem and the new heaven and new earth. In this verse, Jesus speaks of heaven and earth passing away...

Even though Jesus will be King of Kings on earth and reign in the Millennium, the Torah will still be in effect until the old heaven and the old earth pass away. Jesus came to fulfill the law not to abolish it.

I think the…  ( Click for more )

I was reading about and comparing the New Jerusalem with the Millennium Jerusalem when something quite startling occurred to me. There is a distinction and very definite distinction between the Wife of Jehovah and the Wife of the Lamb.

It goes back to Israel committing adultery with other gods. This broke the marriage contract Israel had with God which is found in Deuteronomy. This adultery which broke the covenant wasn't just a one time, fling... It was a constant thing. It was extremely degrading and embarrassing to the One True God, because it declared to the surrounding…  ( Click for more )

January 24, 2021

After God has dusted and cleaned up the earth and the heavens so that life can continue upon the face of the earth, those who made it through the final 45 days of clean-up are the Believers who made it through the Great Tribulation, both Gentiles and Jews. Joel 3:1-3 tells us “For behold in those days…” “before the coming of the great and awesome day of Jehovah” (Joel 2:31). Jesus speaks of it in Matthew 25:31-33, with the judge being the Messiah. These saints are the ones who will inhabit and procreate and fill the earth.

Those who are…  ( Click for more )

In Isaiah 65 we see a most beautiful picture of how God sees the perfect earth that still has humans in it. It will be that way, one day, but not until Jesus comes again and the Day of Wrath happens.

Isaiah 65:20 There shall not still be an infant of days, or an old man that has not filled his days. For the youth shall die the son of a hundred years, but the sinner the son of a hundred years shall be accursed. 21And they shall build houses and live in them; and they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22They shall not build, and another live in them; they shall not…  ( Click for more )

January 10, 2021

Who would have thought something so mundane could cause so much pain… something which helps put great food on our tables, with a man’s hate would kill so many? Terrorists have this thing about utilizing the mundane to inflict immense pain. Our wars today have gone far beyond what our fore fathers had to fight.

For the record, I remember years ago reports coming out of Iraq and out of Washington talking about nuclear grade uranium being found in Iraq. I also remember reports of chemicals being found. In 2004 the U.S. military removed two tons of uranium from Iraq…  ( Click for more )

January 3, 2021

I do lament today's throw-away society. So often we acquire a “pretty” and then something happens to mar the pretty and we throw it away. My dad never threw anything away. His shop out back was filled to the brim and the overflow surrounded it like undulating waves hitting the sides of a swimming pool. My dad, could fix just about anything which is why he kept everything.

He saw potential everywhere he looked. A roll of wire could tie down, hang up or hold together anything. Coca Cola was good for drinking on a hot day and cleaning battery tops. Nails that held boards…  ( Click for more )

December 27, 2020

I have often thought about, and discussed, Hebrews 6 with many others of my Christian siblings. But, I'll skip over Hebrews 6 for the moment and share with you my thoughts on James 5:19-20. It is more of getting to the point by going through the back door. You know… back door friendship with the Scriptures, so to speak. I have understood James to be talking about the physical life here on earth. Here's why: Straying from the truth means exactly that... to wander away from it and to a greater degree, to sin. To bring a brother back to the truth is to save his breath…  ( Click for more )

I stand amazed at how flighty humans have proven to be. We can't seem to keep on the right track no matter how gloriously God makes Himself available. He provided America for those who desired to worship Him freely. It was not for those to worship any demon or idol, but for Christians. All one has to do is read historical speeches of our founding fathers or historical documents, or even read the inscriptions on the buildings in our capital. Everything points to the one true King of the universe. How sad it has taken less than 250 years for our ardor to go sour. Barna Group asked…  ( Click for more )
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