Category Archives: Religious affairs

We Are Loved

It is Jehovah God, the Creator of the universe Who had a Plan with His creation and shall fulfil it.

He accepted the sacrificial offering of His only begotten beloved son, Jesus Christ, the son of man and son of God. It is that human being born in Bethlehem which we should accept as the sent one from God, who put his own will aside to do the Will of God. By offering himself as a Lamb of God, he brought salvation unto mankind. His love for us was accepted by his heavenly Father Who by His love allowed grace coming over all people.

To remember:

  • God loves you + will never stop loving you.
  • We can’t earn God’s love
  • up to us to accept God’s love
  • time for us to take God at His Word
  • God wants to save sinners from their sins
  • God’s Word set you free
  • Heavenly Father desires to have relationship with His people
  • Jesus breaks bondage in our life.

Overcoming The Times

Whoever you are, Wherever you are from, No matter what you have done…I want to let you know that God loves you, and He will never stop loving you. Neither your accomplishments nor your failures, Your victories nor your defeats qualify you nor disqualify you from God’s love.

Let the truth of God’s Word set you free. When God looked at us, He doesn’t think paying with the most precious thing He had in all of eternity, that’s Jesus Christ, was too high a price for you and I. God displayed for all of creation and eternity, His immeasurable and untouchable love for us. This kind of love is hard to comprehend by the natural man. Afterall, prior to us accepting salvation we had no understanding of spiritual things. Yet even inspite of us doing mischievous things, God still loved us: And when we ask Him to save us, The…

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Devotions by Christine Caine: Salt of the earth

Christine Caine looks in her devotion to Jesus who states that our role as Christians on the earth is a transformational one and that we are called the “salt of the earth”.

To remember

  • be personally transformed from the inside out.
  • the Church never created to remain insular = to be a caring, gracious, & inclusive community > our mandate = to love others = love ourselves.
  • Church (as God’s hands & feet on the earth) = called to operate in the realm for which she was created > a lost + broken world.
  • The Church = vehicle that God has created to fulfill his mission on the earth.
  • people =  object of this mission > found outside four walls of the church building. => “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
  • not afford to simply do church on Sunday => church seven days a week.

 

From The Darkness Into The Light

Duration: 365 days

ReadMatthew 5:13

Jesus says that his followers are to be the salt that brings out the God-flavors of this earth.

SALT OF THE EARTH

Jesus clearly states that our role as Christians on the earth is a transformational one. We are called the “salt of the earth” and salt essentially does three things: It adds flavor, it preserves, and it heals. So our task is to bring flavor, preservation, and healing to the world around us. This is why it is imperative that we ourselves be personally transformed from the inside out. If we have not been changed, we cannot bring out the “God flavors” of this earth.

In the same way that salt was never designed to remain in the shaker, the Church was never created to remain insular. We are called to live from the inside out both personally and corporately. God’s love flows…

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2020 Talking Points – Stuck with polemics, histrionics, and ad hominem denunciation

Continually the world turns around and time goes on. But it will not go on for ever with man being able to bring bad things to others.
There shall come a time that with a roar and fire, believers and non-believers still alive shall come to see the beginning of the Day of the Lord. The Great Tribulation will come bringing great sufferings, but it shall bring us our waiting to an end, making our hope coming into fulfilment, Jesus, the Prince of Peace and the great Reconciler of humanity with the Creator, coming back to judge the living and the dead, to allow the righteous to enter the gates of God’s Kingdom to live there forever without pain or sorrows.

*

The retired High School teacher and an ordained Christian minister in Ontario, Canada, Vincent finds that

No one who has lived through and is old enough to remember it will forget 2020 – the “Plague Year” of a century. We tend to forget that there have been many plague years in human history, and many far worse both in absolute numbers of victims and in proportion. {2020-2021 and Hope}

He was not without hope as we ended 2020 and began 2021 and writes:

Even in dark times like 2020, and there have been many much darker in many ways over the centuries, the Creator has not departed. He remains anchored among us through the presence of a living Redeemer, a presence shared far and wide wherever those who know Him bring His light. {2020-2021 and Hope}

He is also aware that we might be coming closer to the prophesised days of the end.

It may prove true that we are quite close to or even in the last, Last Days and on the verge of the Great Tribulation. I am aware that quite a few believe that we are now seeing such signs, and they may be right. My generation thought this back in 1973. People thought it in World War 1, and in WW2 called Hitler the Antichrist.

World.V.You

Like many I know, I have been paying less attention to the swirling morass of the news these days. Most of it is glum and discouraging anyway, and, here in the “Great White North”, summer is all too brief to waste on keeping up with the latest blasts in the present mockery of “discussion and dialogue” in uber-confused Western culture. Besides, between true news (??) and the boundless volume of the less reliable variety, it is often hard to draw a firm line in the midst of all the spin and vehement opinion masquerading as considered point of view.

Everyone has a point of view, of course. But the problem is that it is now uncommon to find any serious attempt to talk about an issue. Most of what passes for commentary consists of dismissing the writer-commentator’s submission as mere strong bias or even some sort of incipient “Communism”…

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Where did we come from and who are we?

Having started a new year after one we probably all want to forget very quickly, we do hope soon to come out of the darkness.

At the beginning of all times there was also darkness and void. There was no form when everything came into being. In 2020 lots of things seemed to have lost form and meaning. Suddenly there seemed something wrong with the world. All over the globe people had become frightened by what one president smilingly called the Chinese disease. Many came to wonder:

What has gone wrong with the world? What can we do to fix it? How now shall we live?

2020 was a year that gave us enough time to think. Many were in isolation in their own home or were locked up in a care home. Lots of people suddenly got enough time for themselves and their own family. They got now some time to reflect on the response to the first and most foundational of these questions  –

where did we come from?

and

Where are we going to?

There are a limited number of answers at our disposal: We came about by chance (the naturalist contention), we don’t really exist (the Hindu response), or we were spoken into existence by God. Some believe mankind was placed here on earth by extraterrestrials.

For the Christian, the answer to

“Where did we come from and who are we?”

gives a foundation for thinking that no other answer gives. Because we were created, there is value in each person. There is meaning and purpose to every life. There is Someone above and outside our existence who stands over it as authority.

As human beings, all created in the image of God, somehow we all can carry something of God in us, even without knowing it or willing to know. Several people claim Jesus is God because there is written he was in the image of God. They forget that the first Adam was also created in God’s image like all the other human beings, but for sure they are not God, the same way as Jesus is not God.

Last month several Christians celebrated the birth of a man who changed the course of this world. They claim to be his followers though reject many of his words, his teachings and those values as a part of shaping our culture for the future. They look at a King, but forget that he came from the root of another king (King David).

Perhaps this world has gone “buzark” because people living in this materialist world have forgotten those important ethics and values. For centuries people were truthful to the teachings of Jesus, but they were always in the minority because their way of life was based on something not of this world that the world no longer recognizes.

After the darkness and isolation of the CoViD year there is some hope with the upcoming vaccines. Let us also hope more people would come to the realisation that we seriously have to do something to protect the animals and the nature around us. This so maniest coronavirus was a very serious one which had brought the economy and life to a standstill. It was a time to reflect and to think about the way we are treating mother nature.

With the opening of the “Newer Year” we do hope you and our other readers would find the way to make the best out of this life.

Stay healthy & All the best for 2021

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2 Easy Ways You Can Fit Daily Bible Time into Your Busy Life

Bobby Jamieson

I believe every Christian should strive to carve out time dedicated to Scripture reading and prayer every day. But for many of us, devotions aren’t very daily. Some people, like mothers of young children, have excellent reasons for this. Others, like many college students, not so excellent.

If you struggle to fit in a daily quiet time, the open spaces in your schedule can be great places to squeeze in the Bible. Even if you have a robust devotional life, you can still cram the Bible in wherever and however you can. Wedge it into the gaps in your schedule. Stuff it into the in-between places, the nooks and crannies of unclaimed time throughout your day. In other words, fit the Bible into the margins of your life.

I don’t mean push the Bible out to the margins of your life, as in, “Quit making the Bible so central in everything you do!” But all of us, even the busiest, have open spaces in our lives where God’s Word can be given a place.

How many minutes a day do you spend waiting in line, washing the dishes, or driving?

Or, how many minutes do you spend on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram?

Each of those numbers will give you a rough idea of how much Bible you might be able to squeeze into your daily routine. Is it a sin to browse Facebook or carry on a game (or six) of Words with Friends? Not necessarily. But if you regularly find time for those hobbies but only irregularly find time for God’s Word, what does that say about your heart? What is it that you’re craving more than the nourishment of every word that proceeds from the mouth of God?

Often in the marginal times your attention is partially occupied by something else: commuting, chores, errands, and so on. You might not have your reading chair, slippers, and cup of coffee (or tea) handy. You might not even have your hands free to crack open a physical Bible. But here are at least two ways you can fit Bible intake into times like these.

1) Listen to an audio Bible
A number of Bible apps and online Bible resources come with free, quality audio Bibles. (For example, these are at BibleStudyTools.com.)  If you’ve got twenty minutes while you’re riding the bus or picking up your kids’ toys after bedtime, you can listen through several chapters of Scripture. If you’ve tried and failed to make it through a Bible-in-a-year plan, why not supplement your reading with listening? You might find that listening to Scripture while doing something else actually aids your focus on the Word.

2)  Memorize Scripture
Listening, of course, is one way to do this. If you’ve got a fifteen minute commute to work in the car, you can listen to Ephesians 1 five times. Do that every day for a week, and you’ll be well on your way to memorizing the entire, magnificent chapter.

Do you have any consistent windows of time when you can fit in Scripture memory? Maybe a treadmill workout, or walk to the store, or washing dishes at night? All you need in order to memorize Scripture is the ability to mutter the verses out loud and occasionally glance at your pocket Bible or phone to check the wording.

Whether it’s listening or memorizing or good old-fashioned reading, there are all kinds of ways you can fit the Bible into all kinds of times during your day. Think of those gaps in your day as loose change. You could simply leave them lying around, or you could invest some of them in God’s Word and see what they add up to in six months, or a year, or ten years.

You may not be able to fit the Bible into every single spare moment of every single day. I certainly don’t do that, and I don’t know anyone who does. But too many Christians’ daily routines include no Bible, and something is infinitely better than nothing—especially when it comes to taking in the Word of God.

If you’re looking for a way to start, pick one window of your day when you can fit Scripture in, and try to do so every day for a week.

Time with the Bible is time well spent. How can you fit more Bible into the margins of your life this week?

Bobby Jamieson is a PhD candidate in New Testament at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Sound Doctrine: How a Church Grows in the Love and Holiness of God (Crossway, 2013).

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3 Keys to Reading the Bible with a Fresh Perspective

It is a new year, and no doubt many have made it their ambition to read the Bible more often this year. What nobler resolution could someone have?

But many people will give up in mid-February, when they are slogging through Leviticus and are halfway through their third straight gospel tour. The passages that seem redundant and unexciting tend to drown our Bible reading goals.

How can we keep our Bible reading fresh – even the parts that don’t stir us at first reading – so that we don’t give up on our resolution to read more? Allow me to share a few suggestions.

1. Remember that God’s word is alive

Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active.” Just like God himself, his word is full of life and is always doing something. That means, to state the obvious, that God’s word is never dead or inactive. And that is just as true for Leviticus 3:16 as it is for John 3:16.

The implication is that we can come to every passage with a sense of anticipation that God will work through it. That doesn’t mean we will necessarily finish our Bible reading with intense spiritual feelings. But it does mean that we can be assured that no matter what we read on a given day his word will not return void (Isa. 55:11).

2. Pray for God to open your eyes, and trust that he will

The psalmist prayed, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psa. 119:18). He recognized that without God’s help, it would be very easy for him to read God’s law and not come away marveling at how great God is. He needed God to give him eyes to see the wonders of his word.

The same is true for us, of course. We must not read our Bibles without asking God to enable us to see the amazing things in it. I confess that this is something that I sometimes forget. Being somewhat of a task oriented type of person, I’ll sometimes sit down at my desk to begin preparing a sermon only to realize an hour later that I had forgotten to ask God to speak to me and lead me to the message he wants delivered on Sunday. It is by God’s grace that I can even recognize my self-sufficiency. I must stop and repent of my prayerlessness, and then ask God to “open my eyes” before I resume my study.

3. Read with a God-centered attitude

It’s very easy to read God’s word with an emphasis on you. What am I going to learn? What am I going to get out of this? How am I going to apply this?

But as you grow as a Christian, you grow less concerned with yourself, and more interested in loving God and neighbors. This gradual self-emptying process gives a perspective that comes to Scripture with a desire to see more of God and less of yourself.

Take, for example, Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Instead of focusing on the “I can do” part, what if you meditated on the “him who strengthens me” part? Your mind will be prodded to meditate in a fresh way of God’s grace to enable you to make it through your trials and empower you for your successes.

Don’t let dull days get you down

As much as it would be great to have an amazing spiritual encounter every time we read the Bible, I admit that is not always my experience. Sometimes nothing “hits” me. But I know that my emotional response is not what makes God’s word do its work in my life. That’s the Spirit’s job.

So if you find that there are some days where your Bible reading seems less impactful, don’t be discouraged. You and I have only to be faithful to read God’s word with the thirst of a deer panting for water. More times than not, when we open the Bible with that kind of neediness the streams will taste quite fresh.

Eric McKiddie serves as Pastor for Gospel Community at the Chapel Hill Bible Church He helps pastors grow as well-rounded ministers of the gospel at his blog, Pastoralized, and through sermon coaching.

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2020 a year of having more idols but also more personal problems

The Spring of 2020 brought something new to the world which made everyone and everything coming to a standstill but brought also many to having psychological problems. At first, it seemed incredible to hear certain churches calling for their members to come to church, even when the governments asked people to avoid contact with many. Some pastors dared to go so far as telling people that if they would become infected with Corona that would be because they had not enough faith. Such saying we can only call “criminal”. Several Christian groups, mainly in Holland wanted people to believe that as faithful people would come to the service they would not be harmed because they would do what God expected from them.

Lots of people got in problem with their mind, having become pulled away from their social contacts by the lockdown. Depression, bipolar episodes, and anxiety attacks were hindermost in the running.

Because depression isn’t often discussed in churches, a great deal of misunderstanding has popped up in this year when there were so many more people with a lot of psychological problems, who could not be helped by medical staff.

We want people to believe that the first step is realising what this disorder isn’t:

“It’s not a character defect, a spiritual disorder or an emotional dysfunction. And chief of all, it’s not a choice.”

Also we want Christians to be aware that it is not, like some Trinitarian preachers wanted their flock to believe

a penalty from God.

When you do not feel well in your skin it is not that God would be punishing you because you would have done something wrong or that you would not have enough faith in Him.

We also must be aware that just because someone seems “happy,” that doesn’t mean they’re healthy or that they really would be happy. Look at the very popular Flemish influencer. Social media seemed to take more people in its ban this year. The advertising flow is drying up, so professional users of social media tell more about their concerns and they seemed for many to provide some good information. After the death of that 21 year old boy more than ever, several influencers came to understand their role in the youthgroups and to realise that good mental health is important.

This way NokNok wants to teach young people that it is normal to not always feel perfect. Staff member Eline De Decker:

“Nobody walks on clouds every day. Sometimes you get up and immediately feel that it is going to be a terrible day. Sometimes you doubt yourself or feel insecure. Or are you stressed or disappointed with friends or family. That is normal.
And that’s all okay. ”

NokNok wants to convey that message clearly and shows young people between the ages of 12 and 16 what they can do to gain more self-confidence, have less stress and go through life as positivo.

Instagram has been around for ten years, and what the app has perhaps achieved best during that period is creating the illusion that users can “work independently” via the platform. Certainly influencers, people who live off sponsored photos on their Instagram profile, are an example of this bogus self-employment.
They live off Instagram, but much more for Instagram – they tweak their entire lives to create the best photos and videos. And once their Instagram goes down, they have nothing to fall back on.

With the rise of social media, the phenomenon of fanship has changed drastically. About ten or twenty years ago, an idol was someone you idolized by hanging posters on the wall, playing CDs, maybe watching movies or TV shows. The relationship fan-
Idol was pretty one-sided: the fan was occasionally thrown a treat – a new song, a TV appearance, a message about a wedding in a gossip magazine – and he or she had to settle for that.

But with digitization, the relationship between fans and idols has turned inside out,
British sociology professor Ellis Cashmore writes in his book Kardashian Kulture, in which he examines how celebrity culture has changed in the 21st century. No longer are fans from outside looking at the world in which their idol lives – they are right in the thick of it.

Certain churches used those idols also in church and wanted to attire people to their meetings by using a lot of music and disco settings. In 2020 we saw a continuation of the pulpits shrinking and even disappearing while bands and lighting have grown. But faith does not come from music, dynamic experiences, or supposed encounters with God. Faith is birthed through the proclamation of God’s Word (Rom 10:17).

Our assurance is threatened.
Whilst certain churches kept calling their flock to the church building, others tried to bring entertaining video presentations. All that attention or focussing on those idols and entertainement made many youngsters feeling even more alone, when there was no such church meeting any more. If we associate God’s presence with a particular experience or emotion, you can ask what happens when we no longer feel it.

We search for churches whose praise band, orchestra, or pipe organ produce in us the feelings we are chasing. But the reality of God in our lives depends on the mediation of Christ not on subjective experiences.

Musicians are given priestly status.
When music is seen as a means to encounter God, worship leaders and musicians are vested with a priestly role. They become the ones who bring us into the presence of God rather than Jesus Christ who alone has already fulfilled that role. Understandably, when a worship leader or band doesn’t help me experience God they have failed and must be replaced. On the other hand, when we believe that they have successfully moved us into God’s presence they will attain in our minds a status that is far too high for their own good.

Division is increased.
If we identify a feeling as an encounter with God, and only a particular kind of music produces that feeling, then we will insist that same music be played regularly in our church or gatherings. As long as everyone else shares our taste then there is no problem. But if others depend upon a different kind of music to produce the feeling that is important to them then division is cultivated. And because we routinely classify particular feelings as encounters with God our demands for what produce those feelings become very rigid. This is why so many churches succumb to offering multiple styles of worship services. By doing so, they unwittingly sanction division and self-centeredness among the people of God.

Scripture is full of exhortations to God’s people to sing and make music to Him. Our God has been gracious to give us this means to worship Him. But it is important to understand that music in our worship is for two specific purposes: to honour God and to edify our fellow believers. Unfortunately, many Christians tend to grant music a sacramental power which Scripture never bestows upon it.

Intense relationship
Those churches who by the years focused more on the show element of their services brought their members now in a situation where the lockdown is felt more as a restriction and limitation. Some even came to find that they could not serve God any more or did not give Him the full worship they had to offer Him. The fact they felt they could not serve their God any more made them feeling very bad. Instead of making them to understand they also could worship God in their own house in their own small bubble, some churches gave them even more a feeling of guilt by keeping to tell them they should not stop coming to the church building.

Against the lonely feeling they said what’s needed was the gathering and coming to feast again for God. But what is really needed is a loving community where people are encouraged to speak up and get help. And that speaking can be done by internet meetings and help can be giving by phone calls as well as by sending material by land mail.

People should know that when fear comes into their heart, they themselves can call to God. They not only should trust on the entertaining sessions of their church.

God Loves You

The fundamental message of the Gospel is that God loves you.
Do you understand?
God loves you. No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been, God will always love you. Dr. Kenneth Hutcherson describes it like this,

No matter what kind of situation you may find yourself facing, don’t be afraid, because God will always be with you and have your best interests in mind since He loves you.  Whenever feelings of fear creep into your life, turn to God for the help you need to overcome them and successfully navigate your circumstances.  Whenever you sense God calling you to do something that requires taking a risk, move forward without fear because God will empower you to do whatever He calls you to do.

It’s Alright to Feel Sad

No one likes to feel sad. We frequently try to avoid feelings of pain, or bury them under the weight of our daily routines. But sorrow cannot and should not be ignored. Accepting our sorrow doesn’t mean we’re weak, or a failure, it means we’re human. Just look what Ethan McCarthy of Christianity Today had to say,

Our faith is predicated on sadness. As we grow in Christ’s service, we begin to recognize ourselves in Christ’s sad gaze in the icons. The sadness of Jesus exemplifies the sadness of Christians everywhere, and through it the whole world is redeemed. For the sadness of Jesus is not an ultimate sadness: the Bible also promises the end of sadness, and the wiping away of all tears: ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted’ (Matt. 5:4).

After bad times better times

2020 may not have been an ideal year, but we should know there have been lots more worse years in the past. When looking at those horrible years of illnesses, pains, horrible situations and wars, we should see that we did not have it as bad as some want us to believe.

Hope is a frail thing, but it’s hard to kill. If you’ve found yourself struggling in the valleys of life, please don’t give up. Surround yourself with friends who will comfort you and mourn with you. If you’re suffering from depression, have courage and make an appointment with a doctor. Above all, remember that God loves you, and that will never change.

2020 has been a year where a lot more people had psychological difficulties. The helplines got a lot more calls. Lots of people were struggling with depression.  More than 1 in 5 youngsters this year had difficulties with the isolation brought unto them. Christians should see signs and then should come to help.

Every suicide is a tragic end to a life that’s precious to God. If you’re willing, God can empower you to help save the lives of people he loves from ending their lives before they’ve completed the lifetimes he intends for them. Here’s how you can help prevent suicide by reaching out to struggling people you know:

Recognize warning signs.

The American Association of Suicidology says that people who are at risk of committing suicide often display warning signs such as: communicating a desire to kill themselves, looking for ways to kill themselves (like seeking access to guns or medications), expressing a lack of purpose or hope in life, demonstrating dramatic mood changes, behaving in significantly anxious or angry ways, sleeping too much or not sleeping enough, feeling trapped in a challenging situation, taking reckless risks, abusing alcohol or drugs, and withdrawing from relationships with family and friends.

Listen well and offer unconditional love, like God does.

Pay attention to the troubling thoughts and feelings that people share with you. Listen carefully to what they express, and ask them questions to clarify and seek more information. If suicidal people know that you’re genuinely interested in them and that they can trust you not to judge them, gossip about them, or avoid them when they tell you something disturbing, they’ll likely open up to you. Ask God to help you love suicidal people unconditionally – like He does – and that will give them hope they desperately need while struggling with embarrassment and shame.

Pray specifically.

Let people know that they can count on you to pray for them about every specific issue they’ve shared with you. Ask God to bring them the help and healing they need, and pray in Jesus’ name against any form of evil that may be attacking them spiritually.

Give people a fresh perspective on themselves and their problems.

Suicidal people often become so preoccupied with their own failures and the problems in their lives that they blow them out of proportion. When that happens, they feel overwhelmed and can’t see how they can ever find solutions to their problems or find relief from their suffering. Mistakenly thinking that there’s no hope for them to experience better lives, they then may choose to simply end their lives. If someone tells you that she hates herself or feels like a burden on others, you can encourage her by pointing out specific ways she has enriched your life. When someone you know is distraught about a problem that seems insurmountable, you can gently and respectfully point out other aspects of her life that are positive to help her gain a better perspective. Refrain from giving unsolicited advice, which can seem judgmental to someone who is struggling. But remind your friend that there’s plenty of good in her, and in her life, despite the bad aspects that trouble her. You can also point out that every problem – no matter how severe – is temporary, but suicide is permanent. Encourage suicidal people to give themselves time to see how their problems can resolve in unexpected ways, rather than prematurely ending their lives.

Strong churches don’t “fix” depression.

Even large churches may not have the framework currently in place to deal with mental disorders. So, what’s needed?

“Healing comes from a prayerful, loving community that seeks to truly understand major depressive disorder and related conditions, and one that develops a positive response.”

Depression can feel like a huge weight that keeps pulling a Christian down again and again. Breaking free from the clutches of this disorder may seem impossible, but Margaret Ashmore (of the Association of Biblical Counselors) says that one of the most important things a sufferer can do is “the next thing”:

“So ‘doing the next thing’ might mean getting right with someone you’ve wronged, making restitution on outstanding payments, putting away once for all that website or magazine which feeds a monstrous, lustful appetite, taking back a purchase of self indulgence whose only outcome was more debt – you will have your own list. I certainly have mine. But be assured, this principle alone can take you from a shrugging Atlas with the weight of the world on your shoulders to that of renewed vigor and reviving refreshment….”

“The choices we make to obey despite our feelings or to give in to the downward pull of a fallen world filled with fallen people – mean everything.”

If you suffer from anxiety of depression, you’re not alone.

The one true source of freedom: Jesus.

People who kill themselves are trying to break free from their pain. But suicide just makes people dead, not free, and it actually causes more pain by spreading grief around to deceased people’s loved ones. Tell struggling people you know that while suicide can’t make them free, Jesus Christ can. Jesus is the way to God. He is the mediator between God and man, and having been here on earth as a man of flesh and blood, he very well knows the pains man can have to face.

No matter how difficult, certain things may look for us, when we pray to God we may find solutions to get over those difficult situations.

 

(With parts of articles by a.o. Todd Pruitt, John UpChurch, Ryan Duncan, Whitney Hopler of Crosswalk.com)

 

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Reasons Why Racial Reconciliation Should Be a Church Priority

2020 has been a year when in several countries more division was created and more hatred was spread. Therefore it is not bad to remember once more why Christians have to avoid division and should do their best to unite people.
Let us look at what an American Baptist preacher has to tell about racism in church and in a community of followers of Christ.

“Pastor, why is racial reconciliation important for our church?”

This is a question I often faced as a pastor, posed by sincere church members who wanted to grow and learn. Here are three reasons why I believe racial reconciliation should be a church priority.

1. Racial reconciliation is important because every single person was created in the image of God.

The Bible is clear that there is no other way to look at your fellow human being other than someone sculpted by the hands of a loving God (Genesis 1-2; Psalm 139). It is this idea of the imago dei that informs our ethic. This means that there is no such thing as an “other”, only humans, image bearers of their Creator.

Prejudice is fueled by sin, sin that corrupts and divides. Sin causes us to favor people who look and sound and think like we do and causes us to disrespect and diminish the value of people who don’t. Christ came to heal that sin, to tear down walls, and to bridge the divide between races.

When we work toward racial reconciliation, we are saying, by our actions, that we agree with the gospel.

2. Racial Reconciliation is important because the Church is an outpost of the kingdom.

Revelation 5 and 7 describe a scene in Heaven where every nation, tribe, and tongue gather before the throne of God. This is not just some embellishing detail in John’s vision, this is an intentional display of the unifying power of the gospel to bring together in a new humanity what sin destroyed in the Fall. This tells us that racial unity is not just a nice thing for ideal communities, but something close to the heart of God. The vision of the Kingdom in Revelation tells us, this is what God desires.

Churches that work intentionally to model diversity show the world a glimpse of what is to come in full when Christ comes. Church becomes the place where disparate people from all walks of life are united by their love for Christ and their need for grace.

Racial reconciliation is important because it is the way we love our neighbours and contribute to their flourishing.

Christians are called to seek the welfare of the city, to love their neighbors, to be an agent of gospel renewal to the communities they serve. Many of our communities are beset by racial strife and filled with people who long for unity but feel powerless to achieve it. The church has the answer in the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we intentionally cultivate a thriving and diverse community, we offer a model for the rest of the community.

Racial reconciliation is one way we love our neighbors, by empathizing with the minorities in our communities who feel marginalized and by listening to the stories of our minority Christian brothers and sisters who might feel marginalized by the American Church.

Imagine if local churches could be safe places for people from different walks of life could work through their differences, incubators of racial reconciliation. Imagine if the Church became the one place where what is envisioned in Revelation 5 and 9 actually started happening and burst through the doors and into the community?

Racial reconciliation is not an idealistic notion; it’s a gospel imperative. It is difficult, slow, risky work whose full fruits will not be seen this side of Heaven. But those who bear the name of Christ are compelled by His love to pursue it, not only as a fresh gospel witness, but also to make glad the heart of the Father.

Daniel Darling is the Vice President for Communications for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC). He is a regular contributor to Leadership Journal and the author of several books, including his latest, Activist Faith. He regularly blogs at danieldarling.com. You can follow him on Twitter @DanDarling.

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Preceding

Looking at an American nightmare

Diversity and Equality

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Additional reading

  1. Kingdom of God what will it be like
  2. Unity doesn’t mean uniformity

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Making a god mortal: Hercules and Jesus

In this reblogged article one can see how easy it is man get carried away by philosophical thought and fairytales.

Lots of people have been caught in the tragic twisted thought of the main churches where Jesus is made into not only a god (what Jesus might be) but worse, into God, Who according to the Scriptures is an Eternal Omniscient Omnipotent Invisible Spirit Being, whilst Jesus is a man of flesh, blood and bones who was seen by many and never claimed godship, but who made it clear he was the way to God, Who is greater than him and without Him he could do nothing, and we too would be nothing.

The writer also says:

any god threatened with the loss of divinity isn’t a god

but forget there are many gods mentioned in the Bible who had no divinity and others who were divine but not the Almighty God.

The writer also mentions that

Hercules isn’t one worthy of worship because he’s so much like us that, in the end, he isn’t a god at all. Perhaps he’s seen as someone “god-like” because he sacrifices himself for love, because he shows the strength of his heart and not the strength of his arm (physical might). But in the end, being godlike isn’t the same as being God.

With that expression he hits the nail on the dot and should see that his godlike figure Jesus is not at all the Only One True God Who is One.

essentialchurch.net

20200719_105254.jpg The potion to turn Hercules mortal. Image Credit: Hercules (Disney)

Hercules is an excellent Disney movie for those who have never seen it. You should watch it with your children, too, or nieces/nephews and grandchildren. It’s an excellent look at bravery and courage and what defines greatness.

But bravery, courage, and greatness within Hercules have a specific context: that is, it surrounds Hercules, the main character of the movie. Hercules is a god in heaven with his mother and father, who are god (Zeus) and goddess (Hera). Well, he is kidnapped out of his crib one night and taken to earth, where Hades (an evil god) plots to make him human. The purpose of removing Hercules’s divinity is to kill him because, if he fights against Hades, Hades won’t be able to take over the world.

So early on in the movie, Hades asks Panic and Pain, his two minions…

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Christians saying Jesus is God giving food for atheists to prove there exist no God

When there are so many Christians who say Jesus is God, lots of people come to see many texts in the Bible which seem to contradict that. Many who were Trinitarian Christians and came to find many such contradictions in the Scriptures and in the writings of their pastors, left their church to become an adversary of God.

The other way round there were also several atheists who tried to prove God and Jesus did not exist, but their best reasons to doubt God actually proved He exists made them to understand that God has always existed and that Jesus is His son who only came into being a few millennia ago.

In order to construct any valid argument for atheism, the atheist has to steal tools from God’s universe because no such tools exist in the world of atheism. {Frank Turek}


”Atheists must sit in God’s lap in order to try to slap Him in the face.”

Frank Turek

Most atheists also have problems with those Christians who claim that Jesus would be eternal but also would be born on the 25th of December, whilst all the events mentioned in the Bible around the birth of Jesus did not at all happen in December at the beginning of the year 0 of the Gregorian calendar.

Most Christians atheists encounter are those who prefer to believe the many fairytales from their churchleaders. Confronting them with Biblical texts which say otherwise they mostly have no answer but saying:

It is a mystery believers have to accept.

Sometimes it takes some years before a convert to Christendom or a brought up Christian person comes to understand it is better to keep to the Bible Words like they are written. Most of the name Christians continue to believe their churchleaders that they would be too dumb to understand the Bible. Many who came into a church for the first time or moved to another church after some years come to see that they traded one kind of false teacher for another.

It’s easy to think of all false teachers as being cut from the same cloth. For atheists they seem one and the same bunch. They all preach a “gospel” of personal fulfilment. Of creating or receiving our best life now. Many do not come to see how it is the gospel of us:

we are the solution to the problems the world, and it’s up to us to make this world what we want it to be.

People have to come to see that we are to communicate all that Scripture does: we are to instruct in the Biblical doctrine, to correct error and to encourage God’s people. We need to constantly be bringing people back to the truth of God’s Word, to confront man with himself, with our imperfections and sin.

When we have enough patience and keep to the Biblical text, we only can hope the questioning person his or her eyes shall open one day and shall one day come to believe the words like they are written in the Bible and not how they are professed by people who call themselves theologians and the only one who can understand and explain God’s Word.

God does not hide and does not make it so difficult to make His existence obvious.

“For from the creation of the world the invisible things of Him are clearly seen, being understood through the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” (Ro 1:20 KJ21)

Yes, people only have to open their ears and eyes to become aware of the Existence behind all the existent things.

All people are created in the image of God and as such, when people look deep in the hearts of others they may catch a glimpse of that Divine Creator. But in the Nazarene man Jeshua ben Josef, better known as Jesus Christ, people were made it much easier to see something of God, because Jesus came to declare his heavenly Father.

“Jesus said unto him, “Have I been so long a time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, ‘Show us the Father’?” (Joh 14:9 KJ21)

God made it clear who that man from Nazareth was.

“and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from Heaven, which said, “THOU ART MY BELOVED SON; IN THEE I AM WELL PLEASED.”” (Lu 3:22 KJ21)

Jesus never claimed to be God and clearly gave to know that he could not do anything without the Power of his heavenly Father.

“28  Ye have heard how I said unto you, ‘I go away and come again unto you.’ If ye loved Me, ye would rejoice because I said, ‘I go unto the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that when it is come to pass, ye might believe. 30 “Hereafter I will not talk much with you, for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me. 31 But that the world may know that I love the Father, as the Father gave Me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.” (Joh 14:28-31 KJ21)

“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, “Verily, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do; for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” (Joh 5:19 KJ21)

No man can see God and live, but many saw Jesus, who told that he is the right one to come closer to the Only One True God of Israel.

“And He said, “Thou canst not see My face, for there shall no man see Me and live.”” (Ex 33:20 KJ21)

“and I will take away Mine hand, and thou shalt see My back parts, but My face shall not be seen.”” (Ex 33:23 KJ21)

“No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” (Joh 1:18 KJ21)

“Jesus said unto him, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” (Joh 14:6 KJ21)

Atheist reading such verses in the Bible and hearing from Christians saying that Jesus was born and died for us, let them believe those Christians are fools to believe such stories which contradict each other. On one hand they say God is eternal and on the other hand they say Jesus or God died, which suddenly makes him not eternal. Furthermore, they say God knows everything though their god Jesus does not seem to know the thing about himself nor the things what seem to matter so much in a Christian’s life, namely the End-Times, the Last Judgement and the Kingdom of God.

For all those in doubt, we have good news! There is no such thing as the Trinity, and Jesus is the son of the Only True God Who is One (and not two or three). When you dare to read the Bible (Old and New Testament) and want to listen to the Words like they are written down in that Book of books, you shall be able to discover how to come to see and understand the existence of God. At the same time, you shall come to see how Jesus is that one promised at the beginning of the ages, and is the best person to have to become aware of God’s presence.

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Please find to read:

  1. Does He exists?
  2. Science and God’s existence
  3. Trinitarians making their proof for existence of God look ridiculous #1
  4. Trinitarians making their proof for existence of God look ridiculous #2
  5. Trinitarians making their proof for existence of God look ridiculous #3
  6. Trinitarians making their proof for existence of God look ridiculous #4
  7. Trinitarians making their proof for existence of God look ridiculous #5
  8. Trinitarians making their proof for existence of God look ridiculous #6
  9. Trinitarians making their proof for existence of God look ridiculous #7
  10. Trinitarians making their proof for existence of God look ridiculous #8
  11. Trinitarians making their proof for existence of God look ridiculous #9
  12. Trinitarians making their proof for existence of God look ridiculous #10
  13. Non-religious opposing religious people
  14. Trinity matter
  15. Trinity – the Truth about God
  16. Only One God
  17. God is One

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Related articles

  1. Why Believe in God’s Existence?
  2. Does God exist?
  3. Why Doesn’t God Just Prove His Existence?
  4. Existence of God,a mere myth or an almighty power
  5. The existence of God
  6. The Existence of God? Aristotelian Proof: Part 1
  7. Why Francis Schaeffer Matters: The Turning Point in Truth – Part 2
  8. Arguments for the Existence of God (Using Coffee)
  9. Reflections on the existence of God
  10. Why doesn’t God make his existence more obvious?
  11. Evidence for Christianity
  12. Moses, Miracles and the Multiverse
  13. Why A Good God Allows Bad Things To Happen (Answering Atheism)
  14. Does Science Argue For or Against God? (video)
  15. Video: Does God Exist?

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