Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"Look Around" by the Akins

"You can’t force people to act morally—long term, at least—by government mandate, regulation, and force. True change takes place in hearts and minds, which then will be reflected in the “government of the people, by the people, [and] for the people.”

"The United States never was, nor will be, the kingdom of God, and any attempt to identify it as such is idolatrous. What we need today is not a return to the past, but a turning to a future that has never been: a healthy pluralism in which all views are allowed, encouraged, and respected, and in which a healthy respect for the value of religion in America’s past, present, and future permeates society. "

The two paragraphs above were made by Richard Land in his post, Your Faith and the State. I agree with the second paragraph with the exception of "encouraged." While in our Democratic society all views should be allowed (but not all views should be allowed to be acted on) and respected, I'm not sure all views should be encouraged. How can we justify the encouragement of an Islamic jihad philosophy?

Click on the title to read the whole article. It's rather lengthy but worth the read.

Just a thought!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Misusing God's Name

"You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God,..." (Ex 20:7). More literally this verse says, "You shall not lift up the name of the Lord your God for nothingness." In the third commandment God forbids the the misuse of His holy name. More specifically we are not to use His name in a vain, empty, or meaningless way. In other words, to speak God's name or to speak about God in a thoughtless, careless, or flippant way is to violate the third commandment. God's name speaks of His very essence. It is holy and sacred. To dishonor God's name in any way is to denigrate his holiness. It is a way of saying that God is worthless.

Just a Thought!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Second Commandment and Jesus

God commanded men not to make an image of him, but the implied promise in the second commandment is that God would make an image of himself. He did not want his people trying to make an image of him because his purpose was to show himself to his people in the person of Jesus Christ. The fulfillment of the second commandment is the birth of Jesus Christ.
(Edmund P. Clowney)
Hebrews 1:3 "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being,.."
Col. 1:15 "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation."
Just a Thought!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

No God’ Ads to Hit London Buses

An atheist organization known as the British Humanist Association has purchased ad space on the outside of London buses for signs reading: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” The organization, which was hoping to raise $9,000.00 for the campaign, raised $59,000.00 and now plans to put the ads on the inside of buses as well.

A Christian Post article stated, “It is well known that Christianity is in decline in the United Kingdom and across Europe.” In fact, the article states that about two-thirds of Britons say they have no religious affiliation, according to the United Nations. It concludes that the United Kingdom can no longer be considered a Christian nation stating that Britons are less committed to the church and that “secularist” tendencies were increasing.

England was at one time the most Christian nation in the world. I wonder, where will we be 8 years from now?

Just a thought!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Worry, Stress, and the Economy

Over the last several weeks a number of news stories have been concerned with the issue of stress and worry over the failing economy in America. In one story Economic Stress Taking Toll from NBC says, "Doctors say this financial mess could turn into a mental meltdown for a lot of us." Another story entitled Economic Stress and How to Cope at Home states,

If the financial crisis has you feeling stressed out, you're not alone. A newly released survey by the American Psychological Association shows the declining economy is causing stress levels to skyrocket. As things get worse on Wall Street and those money troubles trickle down to home, people are getting stressed out, and it's showing.
Worry is the result of misplaced trust. For Believers, worry is needless because we know that our God is the all-sufficient God who is not only able but willing to provide for all of our needs. This includes our financial needs. Jesus said, "So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them" (Matthew 6:31-32).

Christians understand that God will supply all of our needs and that we can trust Him. To worry about what we eat, wear, drink, or where we live is to think as the world thinks. The reason the world stresses in times of economic slow down is because the only hope it has is in the ever changing and unstable stock market or government or banking system. But the hope of the Christian is in the God who is omnipotent, eternal, unchanging, and loving.

Jesus also said, "Do not be anxioius for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:34). Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, "Although it is very right to think about the future, it is very wrong to be controlled by it." When we worry and stress over what might be we are allowing the future to rob us of our joy today. In his devotional book, Strength for Today, John McArthur said, "Lack of joy is a sin too. Many people lose their joy because of worry about tomorrow, and they miss the victory God gives them today."

Hebrews 13: 8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow." When we worry about the future, is that not equivalent to denying that the Lord who took care of us yesterday can take care of us tomorrow? Of course it is! In Matthew 6:31-32 Jesus is reminding us that God knows our needs and He has all the resources and love to provide for us today and in all the days to come.

How do we gain victory over worry? Rick Warren says, "Worry is the warning light that God is really not first in my life at this particular moment." Because worry says that God is not big enough to handle my troubles. Jesus says in Matthew 6:33, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." He said that at the conclusion of an entire sermon on worry. The antidote to worry? Put God first!

Just a thougt.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Ten Commandments

It is not what is said but who said it that carries the most weight when it comes to my personal determination of its credibility. For example, many times when I hear people speak on behalf of the Ten Commandments, they will usually quote a prominent historical American figure. Many times I have heard quotes from American forefathers such as John Adams or James Madison. I have heard or read the following quotes on numerous occasions.

From John Adams: "The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal code as well as a moral and religious code. These laws are essential to the existence of men in society and most of which have been enacted by every nation which ever professed any code of laws. Vain indeed would be the search among the writings of secular history to find so broad, so complete and so solid a basis of morality as the Ten Commandments lay down."

From James Madison: "We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon . . . the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

While these are great men in American history, I am not nearly as persuaded by their words as I am the words of the risen reigning Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He said, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished" (Matthew 5:17-18).

This Sunday I begin a series on the Ten Commandments. My first message will be on "The God of the Commandments." According to religious polls most American Christians cannot name four out of the ten commandments. So, to remind us, here they are from Exodus 20:3-17 (NIV).
  1. "You shall have no other gods before me."
  2. "You shall not make for yourself an idol."
  3. "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God."
  4. "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy."
  5. "Honor your father and your mother."
  6. "You shall not murder."
  7. "You shall not commit adultery."
  8. "You shall not steal."
  9. "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor."
  10. "You shall not covet."

Just a thought!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Blue Letter Bible

I recently came across this free biblical research site. This site is great for Sunday School teachers, small group leaders, and those preparing devotions. It contains a lot of good basic Bible study tools. You can take any verse in God’s Word and look up most every translation of the verse, commentaries, interlinear Bibles, concordances – all for free. The site also has links to other Bible study and resource sites. Click on the icon to go to the site.