Direction


…it is very helpful to have an owner’s manual with a troubleshooting guide to help with diagnosis and repair.

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Measuring Stick


…another one of those high-impact statements that would be worth painting on our walls, hanging on our refrigerators, and etching across our bathroom mirrors.

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It’s Dark Out There!


Lumen accipe et imperti – Receive the light and pass it on

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Confluence of Promise


Making One…out of Two?

This is most timely; Two Streams become One Body of Water

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Real Eyes Realize Real Lies


The Battle for Souls

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Pleasing Whom?


Authentic or phoney?

Are my convictions for real or counterfeit?

Written by: Ray S. Edited by Phil D.

Passage: Galatians 1

Focus: If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”  Galatians 1:10.

WHO AM I LIVING TO PLEASE?  That has to be near the top on a list of most important questions for anyone to ask.  And a clear Biblical understanding of what it really means to be a CHRISTIAN is of major value in answering that question appropriately.  To “receive Christ” is to personally accept His atoning sacrifice for my sinful condition and designates Him as my personal SAVIOR.  But that’s not all there is to it.  More is required.  From that point on I am required to follow Him, obey Him, and SERVE Him—making Him my personal LORD.

Two headed coinMy grandfather was a machinist and old-world craftsman.  I judged that he could make anything.  I remember him playing with his skill by slicing two copper pennies in half, then bonding the two head halves together to form a double-headed penny.  That made for an amusing conversation piece—or a little deceitful trick that would win a coin toss every time if it was a “heads, I win—tails, you loose” arrangement.  However, to be technical, both pennies have now lost their value as negotiable pieces of currency.  Two sides are required in order for it to be an authentic penny.

In like manner, the two sides of Christ must be embraced in order to identify and confirm an authentic CHRISTIAN.  Christ must be both SAVIOR and LORD—or He is virtually NOTHING—and the so-called CHRISTIAN who misrepresents the authentic Christ is not an authentic CHRISTIAN.

This can only mean that if I allow my views, attitudes, and behavior to be shaped and driven by the world around me—my culture, peer pressure, or popular opinion—Christ is no longer my LORD in the truest sense—and my representation of Christ is skewed.  It is, therefore, essential that I continually monitor and evaluate my thinking and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5)—so as to maintain Christ as both SAVIOR and LORD—and me as His SERVANT.  Please agree.

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“If the world doesn’t hate you, you are not like Jesus.”

 

 

 

 

What’re the Chances??


 

Is it really  “Heads, you’re in… Tails, you’re out.”?

Difficult subject, I suppose…

Written by Ray S.   Edited by Phil D.

Passage: Romans 9:1-29

Focus: Therefore, God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.”  Romans 9:18.

This topic they call ‘ELECTION’ can present some major difficulties, and some seem to struggle over it to the point of coin flipstumbling—even falling.

However we choose to slice it, I cannot accept that God arbitrarily selects (predestines) some to be saved and some to be lost—some for eternal life and some for destruction—as though He were flipping a coin over every individual—“Heads, you’re in.  Tails, you’re out.”

As I sort through the data and information we have before us, the matter of being ‘called’ is huge.  But it doesn’t need to be complicated.  The ‘call’ is general and universal (Romans 1:18-20).

We can say that ALL ARE CALLED.  The Kingdom of God is a standing invitation.  But ‘being called’ is certainly not equated with a required or desired response to that call.  If I’m called to supper, but don’t respond, I don’t eat.  Duh.  And if I call my dog when he is all preoccupied with his dog stuff of sniffing out a rat under a pile of lumber, he simply will not come.  Duh.  For many are called, but few are chosen (Matthew 22:14, KJV).  Why?  Because only a few are willing to choose His choice—with a will to make their own pursuits subservient to His.

Over and over the Bible confirms that God wants to have mercy toward those who respond to His love call, those who will repent and believe in His Son, Jesus, as their personal Savior and Lord.  And He wants to confirm the value of this amazing LOVE GIFT by allowing quite the opposite in behalf of those who respond opposite—an automatic hardening effect in those who persistently refuse to repent, those who choose their SINFUL NATURE over His provision and opportunity to participate in the DIVINE NATURE (2 Peter 1:4).

May I also recommend that you review Romans 2:4-11. Do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?  … because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 

God will give to each person according to what he has done.  To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 

But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.  There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil; …  for Jew and for Gentile … but glory honor and peace for everyone who does good: …  for  Jew and for Gentile.  For God does not show favouritism.”

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Rejecting God’s way is simply asking for trouble.”