The Future Is As Bright As The Promises Of God

Archive for December, 2013

President Prayed At Inauguration

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During Dwight D. Eisenhower’s swearing in ceremony on January 20, 1953, the Bible was opened to Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain.” (NASB), and Second Chronicles 7:14, “And my people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, the I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.” (NASB).
After the swearing in was completed, instead of kissing the Bible (which was customary) President Eisenhower prayed his own, personal prayer.

After asking those gathered for the inaugural event to bow their heads, the new President prayed…
“Almighty God, as we stand here at this moment my future associates in the Executive branch of Government join me in beseeching that Thou will make full and complete our dedication to the service of the people in this throng, and their fellow citizens everywhere. Give us, we pray, the power to discern clearly right from wrong, and allow all our words and actions to be governed thereby, and by the laws of this land. Especially we pray that our concern shall be for all people regardless of station, race or calling. May cooperation be permitted and be the mutual aim of those who, under the concepts of our Constitution, hold to differing political faiths; so that all may work for the good of our beloved country and Thy glory. Amen.”

[To my knowledge, Dwight Eisenhower is the only president to offer prayer at an inauguration ceremony.
He had written the words on hotel stationary during the evening of January 19, 1953.]

The Gospel According To Jesus – Part 3

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“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.
You are the light of the world — like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
Matthew 5:13-16 (NLT)

Will Those In Hell Experience The Presence Of God?

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One of the nurses who occasionally comes by to check on my mother told me her pastor was reading a book written by R.C. Sproul. My first thought was, “Why would a Southern Baptist pastor read R.C. Sproul?” [Not that I do not respect Dr. Sproul, or appreciate his character — I do reject his preterist views and disagree with some of his teachings.] My thoughts were interrupted by her saying, “Those in hell will experience the presence of God.” “What?” “That’s what my pastor said Sunday night, that those in hell would experience the presence of God in the form of the fire. That’s what Sproul said, that the lost will know God in His fullness as the fires of hell.”

Will those in hell actually experience the presence of God?

Jesus refers to hell as a place of outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Speaking of false prophets, Peter wrote, “These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved.” 2 Pet. 2:17 (NASB).
Paul told the Colossians, “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Col. 1:13-14 (NASB).
John wrote in his first epistle, “This is the message we have heard from Him and announced to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5 (NASB).

Those who do not want God in their lives get exactly what they want — separation from the presence of God forever…
“For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, and dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” 2 Thess. 1:6-9 (NASB)
The Pulpit Commentary explains:
‘From the presence (or face)of the Lord.’ denotes banishment or separation — that the wicked will be expelled from the joy and glory which will reign in the presence of Christ; they shall be banished away from the presence of the Lord. ‘And from the glory of His power;’ not a Hebraism for ‘His mighty glory’ (Jowett), but from that glory which has its origin in His power — the wicked will be banished from the manifestation of His power in the glorification of His saints. The punishment of the wicked on its negative side is stated here. As the presence of the glorified Jesus will constitute the happiness of heaven, so banishment from His presence will constitute the misery of hell, because the soul is then cut off from the source of all good and of all holiness.”

Jesus said in Matthew 25:41 that hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. I believe those who reject God’s grace, shun the sacrifice of Christ, reject His free gift of salvation, will eternally experience the presence of the devil and his angels.
Concerning Jesus’ statement in Matthew 25:41, John MacArthur writes in his commentary on Matthew…
“Jesus is speaking of eternal separation from God and from His goodness, righteousness, truth joy, peace, and every other good thing. He is speaking of eternal association with the devil and his angels in the place of torment God prepared for them. He is speaking of eternal isolation, where there will be no fellowship, no consolation, and no encouragement. He is speaking of eternal duration and of eternal affliction, from which there will be no relief or respite.”

Dancing Chichuahua – Ole!

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Not as funny as my “Dreaming Dog Runs Into Wall” post, but very entertaining.

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=WYYPW7NX

The Gospel According To Jesus – Part 2

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“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:3-12 (NASB)

Thy Way, Or My Way

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“Make me know Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.”

Psalm 25:4-5 (NASB)

“That which is often asked of God, is not so much His will and way, as His approval of our way.” S. F. Smiley

While we may be tempted to demand our own way, choose our own path, we must be willing to seek God’s direction. We, like David, must desire God’s guidance.

The Gospel According To Jesus – Part 1

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“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'”
“…it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'”
“Go Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.'”
“Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.”
“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

    Matthew 4:4, 7, 10, 17, 19 (NASB)

Dreaming Dog Runs Into Wall

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Funniest video I’ve ever seen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grEypMDqvTE

Who Can I Make Happy Today?

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Fully half the joy of living
Is the joy of joyful giving…
The other half is gratitude,
Without stint or latitude.

Then let’s be thankful we’re alive
Can work, and laugh, and love and strive
To make another life worthwhile
By glad’ning hearts that need our smile.

Clouds Without Water, Carried Along By Winds

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“Clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted;” Jude 12b, c (NASB)

It is possible that Jude wrote his short epistle in the middle of a real drought. Perhaps he received his inspiration for these divine words as he observed the leaves curling up on the trees and the fruit withering for the want of rain. Perhaps he watched for the signs of a cloud and when a cloud did appear he was hopeful that it would rain; but, when the winds would blow it away, I imagine he had a deep feeling of disappointment. All of us have felt this same disappointment when we were wishing for rain and the clouds seemed to just melt away.

Although Jude is referring to false teachers, unfruitful Christians can be compared to clouds without water. Jude explains why Christians find themselves in this condition. No one is completely immune from this; however, if Christians would always realize that they are engaged in a constant warfare they would not be so easily taken in.

One of the main reasons a Christian fails to produce good works is the failure to exercise faith. In our physical world we live almost entirely by faith. We accept countless things that we cannot see or even explain, but when it comes to faith in God, it is a different matter. No one was ever saved except by faith, so we can begin by saying every Christian has, at one time, exercised complete faith in God.
The disciples experienced a lack of faith a number of times, even after living intimately with the Lord. Jesus rebuked them on one occasion by saying “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” (Matt. 8:26). I wonder how many times the Lord has said that about me.
Every Christian has asked God for blessings that could easily fill a large vat and then hold up to Him a thimble of faith to receive them. We can only receive answered prayers according to our faith.

Another thing that hinders Christians in their fruit bearing is to lend an ear to those who are “grumblers, finding fault,” Jude 16. My advice is to never choose this type of person for an intimate friend. I believe the devil uses this kind of person as a weapon to keep young Christians from accepting places of responsibility in the church. These “grumblers” always point out all the flaws in every Christian’s life who is trying to serve in any capacity. We are told in 1 Thess. 5:22 to “abstain from every form of evil”; and, until a Christian becomes mature enough to realize that anyone or anything that causes them to fail to grow in Christian service is definitely evil, my advice would be to stay away from them. As you grow in grace and become stronger in faith you will be able to win the grumblers by letting “your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matt. 5:16 (NASB). A child is not expected to perform all the feats of an adult; neither is a young Christian expected to have all the strength to battle the wiles of the devil.

Jude closes his epistle by showing how a believer can ultimately be victorious over everything of the world.
“But, you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting;” Jude 20-22 (NASB).
First, work for greater faith. This is done by remembering always every time you relied altogether on God and how He did not fail you. When you pray, mention the times He has answered your prayers, and it will give you faith to believe He will do it again. Tell others about your answered prayers. It will help them and also it will strengthen your own faith. Remember to hold up the proper size vessel of faith so you will be able to receive the blessings asked for.
Second, keep yourself in the love of God. The first sign of drifting from the love of God is your attitude toward your fellow Christians. If you magnify their faults, discuss their shortcomings with others, and even doubt if they are Christians, you are drifting away from God.
Another sign of drifting is self righteousness. The farther away you get from God the better person you think you are; the closer you draw to Him the more humble you become.

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