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Purer in heart

Purer in heart, O God, help me to be;
May I devote my life wholly to Thee;
Watch Thou my wayward feet,
Guide me with counsel sweet;
Purer in heart, help me to be.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus encouraged those who would be following God to be “pure in heart” – “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8Matthew 5:8
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8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.

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But what does it mean to be “pure in heart?” Continue reading

Matt 25

Christian nation???

With the election just a few days away, a socio-political meme is circulating stating “if you don’t want your tax dollars to go to the poor don’t say you want a nation run on Christian values, because you don’t.” It is an attempt to capture the moral high ground and manipulate the Christian vote through guilt.

Take a few moments and read the great judgment scene in Matthew 25; go ahead, it’ll only take a minute. Now, notice verses 40 and 45 where Jesus says:
• (Matthew 25:40Matthew 25:40
English: World English Bible - WEB

40 “The King will answer them, ‘Most assuredly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers The word for “brothers” here may be also correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings.”, you did it to me.’

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) “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'”
• (Matthew 25:45Matthew 25:45
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45 “Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Most assuredly I tell you, inasmuch as you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me.’

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) “Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.'” Continue reading

church

Sunday night worship

Lately I have noticed people posting articles suggesting Sunday night worship services be scuttled. The most common reason cited is that the attendances are generally lower than Sunday morning worship.

I understand that Sunday night worship is not the only way to strengthen a congregation. Please let’s be clear. The early church observed the Lord’s Supper and gave their offering on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7Acts 20:7
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7 On the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and continued his speech until midnight.

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; 1 Corinthians 16:1,21 Corinthians 16:1,2
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16 1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I commanded the assemblies of Galatia, you do likewise. 2 On the first day of the week, let each one of you save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come.

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). So should we. Continue reading

satan

This trick is no treat

“How can Satan cast out Satan?” (Mark 3:23Mark 3:23
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23 He summoned them, and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan?

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Some rabbis contend that “the slanderer” or “the satan” (as he is often referred to in Old Testament scripture) is just the personification of evil, or the evil thoughts of our own hearts. Some allege that he is a fallen angel, and that seems likely. Others say he’s simply mythical, like Zeus – just a cartoon character with horns and a pitchfork people like to dress up as and laugh about at this time of year.

But Jesus said Satan was a real entity, and had real power in the human realm. Consequently, it would be logical suicide to acknowledge the existence of Jesus and not the existence of Satan. Continue reading

books3555

Writing should be seen as a ministry

The Great Commission calls upon Christians to take the gospel to the world (Matthew 28:18-20Matthew 28:18-20
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18 Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

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). We must be wise to find the most efficient and successful method to deliver the Word.

When God delivered the Law of Moses, he did so in print (Exodus 31:18Exodus 31:18
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18 He gave to Moses, when he finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, the two tablets of the testimony, stone tablets, written with God’s finger.

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). Likewise, God assembled the Bible to preserve Scripture for all generations (2 Timothy 3:16-172 Timothy 3:16-17
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16 Every writing inspired by God literally, God-breathed is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction which is in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

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). Jesus is even called the Word, which can be both spoken and written (John 1:1John 1:1
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The Gospel According to John 1 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

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). Continue reading

Pruning Saw

The cutting edge

“Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off” (Romans 11:20-22Romans 11:20-22
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20 True; by their unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by your faith. Don’t be conceited, but fear; 21 for if God didn’t spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 See then the goodness and severity of God. Toward those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in his goodness; otherwise you also will be cut off.

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, NASB).

The new tree has been planted. The limbs of the peach tree have been pruned, and as it becomes even less productive, the new tree will grow three feet away and fill in the void.

I am acquainted with a wonderful person who is generous to a fault, and seems to genuinely love people and love God.

I almost added, “someone who fears God” in describing her, but after thinking a few moments I realized that I do not know this for sure. Continue reading

Tower of Siloam

Unless you repent

There are two disasters in the Bible of which we know almost nothing.

The disasters are described in Luke 13:1-5Luke 13:1-5
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13 1 Now there were some present at the same time who told him about the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no, but, unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way. 4 Or those eighteen, on whom the tower in Siloam fell, and killed them; do you think that they were worse offenders than all the men who dwell in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no, but, unless you repent, you will all perish in the same way.”

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. One involved the deaths of Galileans whose blood Pilate commanded to have mixed with that of their sacrifices. There has been speculation about what exactly happened, but there is nothing certain. One such speculation said that the Galileans had been working for one of Pilates’ water projects, but that is not proven.

The other disaster was described as the deaths of 18 people who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell. We know even less about this event.

The two disasters are not really that important. What is important is the question Jesus answered about them. Continue reading

PAGINA 1.1.1

Counting the Cost

Now after John was imprisoned, Jesus went into Galilee and proclaimed the gospel of God. He said, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the gospel!” As he went along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, Simon’s brother, casting a net into the sea (for they were fishermen). Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will turn you into fishers of people.” They left their nets immediately and followed him. Going on a little farther, he saw James, the son of Zebedee, and John his brother in their boat mending nets. Immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him. (Mark 1:14-20Mark 1:14-20
English: World English Bible - WEB

14 Now after John was taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand! Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” 16 Passing along by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you into fishers for men.” 18 Immediately they left their nets, and followed him. 19 Going on a little further from there, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets. 20 Immediately he called them, and they left their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired servants, and went after him.

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Have you ever wondered why men would give up everything to follow someone or to do something else with their lives? Have you ever wondered why Peter, Andrew, James and John just left their fishing business to follow after Jesus, a man they didn’t even know? Continue reading

ten-commandments

What Jesus never said

With the elections coming up in just a few weeks, John Fugalsang’s popular socio-political meme about the “Radical Revolutionary Jesus” is making the rounds and is a perfect example of man creating God in his own image.

Fugalsang asserts that Jesus was never…
• Anti-gay
• mentioned abortion or birth control
• justified torture
• fought for tax cuts for the wealthiest
• asked a leper for a co-pay. Continue reading