Friday, July 30, 2010

Taste and see that the Lord is good!

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.
(Psalm 34:8-10)

The center of biblical mission in the Old Testament is found in the words taste (Psalm 119:103; 1 Peter 2:3) and see. The task of Israel was to attract the nations to their God. For their faithfulness to Him, God had promised to bless them abundantly, and when the nations saw this blessing they would see that the living God was with them. "Taste and see" does not mean, "Check out God's credentials." Instead it is a warm invitation: "Try this; I know you'll like it."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Does Water Baptism Save You?

There are several "Christian" blogs out there in cyberspace that are preaching and teaching false doctrines regarding Salvation. I feel that it is necessary to post what the Word of God has to say about baptism and whether it is a necessary prerequisite for your salvation.

The below quotation from the Reformation Study Bible shows the scriptures from God's Word regarding Christian baptism:

“Christian baptism, which has the form of a ceremonial washing (like John’s pre-Christian baptism), is a sign from God that signifies inward cleansing and remission of sins (Acts 22:16; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 5:25-27), Spirit-wrought regeneration and new life (Titus 3:5), and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit as God’s seal testifying and guaranteeing that one will be kept safe in Christ forever (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13-14). Fundamentally, Baptism signifies union with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-7; Colossians 2:11-12), and this union with Christ is the source of every element in our salvation (1 John 5:11-12). Receiving the sign of baptism in faith assures those baptized that God’s gift of new life in Christ is freely given to them. At the same time, it commits them to live in a new way as disciples of Jesus.”

Friday, July 16, 2010

Beware of False Preachers and Teachers!

8) Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9) For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10) and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. (Colossians 2:8-10)

In verse 8, Paul writes against any philosophy of life based only on human ideas and experiences. Paul himself was a gifted philosopher (Acts 17:1–34). So he is not condemning philosophy. He is condemning teaching that credits humanity, not Christ, with being the answer to life’s problems. That approach becomes a false religion. Paul was warning the believers not to be taken in by any philosophy that does not conform to a proper knowledge of Christ.

The false teachers at Colosse had combined worldly philosophies with the gospel. These philosophies are spoken of by Paul as the basic principles of the world, which some have interpreted as “spirits” or “angels” who supposedly control a person’s life (Gal. 4:3,9). There are many man-made approaches to life’s problems that totally disregard God. To resist heresy you must use your mind, keep your eyes on Christ, and study God’s Word. Paul’s strongest indictment against the heretics was that their teaching was not according to Christ, and thus they were not walking with Christ (Colossians 2:6-7).

Monday, July 12, 2010

The God of Comfort

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (Psalms 23:4)

The valley of the shadow of death can refer to any distressing time in our lives. The awareness of our own mortality often comes with sickness, trials, and hardship. But the Lord, our Protector, can lead us through these dark and difficult valleys to eternal life with Him. There is no need to fear death’s power (1 Cor. 15:25–27).

You are with me: The Good Shepherd is with us even in what seem the most difficult and troubling situations.

Your rod and Your staff: Ancient shepherds used the rod and staff to rescue, protect, and guide the sheep. Thus, they become symbols of the Good Shepherd’s loving care over His flock. The sheep are not alone; their Shepherd is standing over them, guiding them into safety — just as the Lord stands over us and protects us.

Death casts a frightening shadow over us because we are entirely helpless in its presence. We can struggle with other enemies – pain, suffering, disease, and injury – but strength and courage cannot overcome death. It has the final word. Only one person can walk with us through death’s dark valley and bring us safely to the other side – the God of life, our Shepherd. Because life is uncertain, we should follow this Shepherd who offers us eternal comfort.

Father God, thank you for always being with me in my time of troubles and giving me the strength and courage to continue through the valleys of my life. Thank you Lord for being with me in my time of sorrow when only You and You alone could provide the comfort I needed. I pray this all in Jesus’ name. Amen.

References: NKJV Holy Bible, Life Application Bible (NIV), and the Nelson Study Bible.

Friday, July 9, 2010

We Will Miss You Mom

In Loving Memory of Our Mother

June 21, 1921 -- July 8, 2010

My dearest mom, we will all miss you so much, but I know that someday we will see you again in Heaven. There will be no more pain or suffering and God will wipe away all of our tears. Love Always, your son Lloyd

Monday, July 5, 2010

Do You Now Believe?

Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16: 31-33)

Our Lord answered the question posed by His disciples (John 16: 29-30) about finally “Getting it”, that He indeed had come from God. And even today, we sometimes ask ourselves “Do I now believe?” We continue in the Christian life the same way we begin, by believing in Jesus. The more we learn of Christ, the more we have to believe. The more we place our trust in Jesus, the more we receive. The more we receive, the more we can accomplish for His glory.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

Jesus on the 4th of July

We gather ‘round to celebrate
On Independence Day
Pay homage to our country
As the children run and play.

With barbecues and picnics
And fireworks in the air
The flag we own is proudly flown
To show how much we care.

The stars and stripes spell freedom
She waves upon the breeze
While bursts of colors can be seen
Above the towering trees.

This is all quite wonderful
We revel in delight
But God above in divine love
Has brought this day to light.

With just a stroke of liberty
A touch of His great hand
He gave democracy to us
And helped this country stand.

The stripes upon our stately flag
Were touched by His sweet grace
Each star of white that shines so bright
Reflects His loving face.

So as you turn to face the flag
For battles that were fought
Be filled with pride for those who died
And freedoms that were bought.

But don’t forget to thank the One
That gives the bright display
The reason why we paint the sky
On Independence Day

Copyright © Marilyn Ferguson 2003