Monthly Archives: June 2016

Loss of Conscience-ness

No one likes to have a guilty conscience. A guilty conscience condemns us, giving us feelings of anguish, regret, shame, anxiety, disgrace and fear. The Greek word for “conscience” is used 30 times in the New Testament, most notably by the Apostle Paul. It is man’s conscience that helps to distinguish between right and wrong as Paul wrote in Romans 2:14-15, “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.”

In the Old Testament the Hebrew word for “conscience” is translated “heart.” Pharaoh is remembered as one who hardened his heart (conscience) against the will of God to “Let My people go,” (Exodus 5:1-2; 8:32). King Josiah’s conscience was sensitive towards the things of God when he was commended by God “because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest His Words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before Me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before Me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD,” (2 Chronicles 34:27). The Psalmist David wrote of man needing to be “upright in heart,” having a pure conscience in Psalm 7. In David’s plea for forgiveness concerning his sin with Bathsheba, he wrote of imploring God to blot out all his sins and “create in me a clean heart, O God,” cleansing both his life and his conscience (Psalm 51).

The Apostle Paul wrote of having a clear conscience (1 Timothy 3:9), warning against having a defiled conscience (1 Corinthians 8:7; Titus 1:15), a weak conscience (1 Corinthians 8:10), a wounded conscience (1 Corinthians 8:12) and a conscience seared with a hot iron (1 Timothy 4:2). In Paul’s defense before Felix before his appeal to Caesar, Paul said, “Herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men, (Acts 24:16).

Just as pain can be a good thing alerting us something physically is wrong, a guilty conscience alerts us to sin in our lives. To keep from having a “loss of conscience-ness” found throughout the world today in so many areas of life, one must not conform to the so-called guiltless society but be ”transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” by filling one’s mind with the Word of God, which David wrote of, “How sweet are Thy Words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Romans 12:2; Psalm 119:103). A pure conscience results from the convictions of the mind, encouraged and sharpened by the Word of God.

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EZRA – Book of “The Return to Jerusalem”

Key Verse:  Ezra 7:10, “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.”

Cyrus’ Decree to Rebuild the Temple – Chapter 1

People Return to Jerusalem – Chapter 2

Altar Set-Up & Worship Restored – Chapter 3

Work on the Temple Stopped – Chapter 4

Work on the Temple Begins Again – Chapter 5

Temple is Finished – Chapter 6

Ezra Sent to Jerusalem – Chapter 7

Those Who Returned with Ezra – Chapter 8

The People Sin; Ezra Prays – Chapter 9

The People Repent & Return to God – Chapter 10

Answers to Life’s Questions

QuestionsEveryone is confronted with trying to answer the questions of life within their own personal sphere. Questions such as “Who am I?”, “Why am I here?”, “Where am I going?” plague the minds of every individual born into this world. Many search throughout their entire lifetime for answers only to find their search fruitless, never coming to fully understand the meaning of life. The world offers many opportunities to promote man’s search but the answers to life’s questions can only be found in God’s Word, the Bible.

“Who am I?” –

The Bible clearly states that every one born into this world is a CREATION of GOD. Adam, the first human, was created from the dust of the ground, and God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” and he became a living soul made in God’s own image. David, the Psalmist wrote, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Marvelous are Thy works. The word of the LORD came to the Prophet Jeremiah, saying, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee.” (Genesis 1:26-27 2:7; Psalm 139:14; Jeremiah 1:4-5)

The ANSWER to “Who am I?” is, I am a Creation of God, made in His image after His likeness, fashioned by the works of His hands.

“Why am I here?” –

In the Book of Revelation the Apostle John wrote of those he saw worshipping in Heaven “fall down before Him that sat on the Throne… saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy PLEASURE they are and were created.” The Apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (I Corinthians 10:31; Revelation 4:11)

The ANSWER to “Why am I here?” is, for God’s pleasure He made me to glorify Him in all that I do.

“What am I to do?” –

Jesus tells us exactly what we are to do when He taught His disciples how to pray, “Our Father which art in heaven… Thy WILL be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.” Further when asked what was the greatest commandment to be obeyed, Jesus answered, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” (Matthew 6:9-10; Mark 12:28-30)

The ANSWER to “What am I to do?” is, to do the Father’s Will each and every day, obeying His commands and statues revealed in His Word.

How am I to live?

During Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness He informed Satan, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” In His closing remarks in the Sermon on the Mount, He likened a wise man as one who builds his house upon a rock. Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone and the Rock of Salvation referred to in Scripture. (Matthew 4:4; 7:24; Ephesians 2:20)

The ANSWER to “How am I to live?” is, the source of the meaning of living life is found in the very words of God Himself found in His Word. By reading His Word and heeding what is written therein, you will live a life more abundant than ever thought possible.

“When will I leave this world?” –

We are forewarned in Hebrews 9:27, “It is appointed unto men once to die.” The Psalmist David wrote, The days of our years are threescore (60) years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore (80)… it is soon cut off, and we fly away. So teach us to number our days.” David told his friend Jonathan, “Truly as the LORD liveth… there is but a step between me and death.” (I Samuel 20:3; Psalm 90:10,12)

The ANSWER to “When will I leave this world?” is, at any time on any day God will call us to keep our appointment with Him.

“Where will I go?” –

Jesus told His disciples who believed He truly was the Son of God that He would be going to “prepare a place for you… that where I am, there ye may be also. In contrast, a place has also been prepared for the Devil and his angels, known as demons, to be cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone… and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” In addition, “whosoever was not found written in the book of life” will also be cast into the lake of fire. (Matthew 25:41; John 14:2-3; Revelation 19:20, 20:10,15)

The ANSWER to “Where will I go?” is, for those who have repented of their sin and trusted Christ as their Savior, Heaven awaits them. For those who reject Christ and His offer of salvation, the torment of Hell awaits them as they draw their last breath in this life.

“For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Romans 10:13

2 CHRONICLES – Book of “The Temple’s Rise & Fall”

Key Verse:   2 Chronicles 6:14, “O LORD God of Israel, there is no God like Thee in the heaven, nor in the earth;  which keepeth covenant, and sheweth mercy unto Thy servants,                      that walk before Thee with all their hearts.” 

Solomon’s Kingdom Established – Chapter 1 

Solomon Prepares to Build the Temple – Chapter 2 

Solomon Builds the Temple – Chapters 3-4

Ark Brought to the Temple – Chapter 5

Solomon Dedicates Temple – Chapter 6

God Accepts the Temple – Chapter 7

Solomon’s Fame Spreads – Chapters 8-9

Kingdom Divides into Judah & Israel – Chapters 10-12

Southern Kingdom’s Loyalty to Temple – Chapters 13-36

People of Judah Taken Captive to Babylon – Chapter 36

Cyrus’ Decree to Rebuild the Temple – Chapter 36

 

The Ark Encounter

In northern Kentucky just off Interstate 75 in Williamstown, Kentucky a full-size replica of Noah’s Ark is being built as a sister attraction to the Creation Museum in nearby Petersburg. The Ark being built will be 500 feet long and 51 feet tall, measuring the length of one and a half football fields and the height of just over a four-story house. Aerial drone video gives a view of the massive size of the Ark under construction, along with its perspective in relation to the landscape. The Ark Encounter is set to be completed and opened for tours on July 7, 2016.

 

Surprised by Suffering

Many years ago Dr. R.C. Sproul of Ligonier Ministries was invited by Dr. Charles LeMaistre, President of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas from 1978-1996, to speak to the health professionals at MD Anderson tasked with caring for the sick and dying on the subject of suffering. In this opening session titled, “Surprised by Suffering 1 A Case Study,” Dr. Sproul shares truths from God’s Word that remain applicable today to all who are or will encounter a time of suffering in their life or the life of a loved one.

Fret Not Thyself

In Psalm 37 of the Holy Scriptures we are told to  Fret not thyself because of evildoers,” but instead:

“Trust in the LORD”  (v.3)

  “Do Good”  (v.3)

 “Delight thyself in the LORD”  (v.4)

“Commit thy way unto the LORD”  (v.5)

“Rest in the LORD”  (v.7)

“Wait patiently for the LORD”  (v.7)

“Cease from anger”  (v.8)

“Forsake wrath”  (v.8)

“Fret not thyself in any wise to do evil”  (v.8)

“For evildoers shall be cut off:  But those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.”

Psalm 37:9