Tag Archives: Scripture

God IS Love

God Is Love3rzThe most beloved verse in all of Scripture, John 3:16, declares from the mouth of Jesus Himself in His conversation with Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, “For God so loved the world…” The greatness of the capacity needed to love the whole world is not something mere man could do; only God who IS Love is capable of such love.

Love comes from the very nature of who God is, for “God is Love” (I John 4:8). Love is not merely an attribute of God… God IS LOVE. Without God there would be no love. Without God there would be no love in this world for others, no love for the downtrodden, no love for the poor, no love for the wounded and weary. GOD IS LOVE.

Because of God’s love for the world He sent His Only Begotten Son to offer the redemption of man to Himself. Although the greatness of His love is for the whole world, His gift of Eternal Life is only given to “Whosoever believeth in Him.” Whereas His love is universal, salvation from sin is not; it is dependent upon each individual’s decision to repent and seek God’s forgiveness from their sin.

Without Christ man is incapable of loving fully. Without Christ love is superficial, man-made, subject to the whims of one’s emotions. With Christ love is pure, gentle, kind, compassionate, enduring and loving throughout all generations (Galatians 5:22-23).

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500th Anniversary of “THE REFORMATION”

On October 31, 1517 a German monk named Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg seeking a discussion on the selling of Indulgences for the remission of sin by the Catholic Church. The aim of the Church in selling the Indulgences was to raise money to rebuild St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Luther, who had become the Professor of Theology at the college, knew from his reading and studying of the Scriptures there was no forgiveness of sin except through the blood of Jesus Christ. The people were being put under great deception by being told by their priests the Catholic Church held the key to God’s forgiveness through the purchase of Indulgences. The simple act of Martin Luther on that day began a Reformation to return to the Truths of Scripture and away from what had become the tenets of a man-made religion.

During Martin Luther’s early days as a monk he came under great conviction of his sinfulness before God. Whereas other monks in the monastery would spend a few minutes a day confessing their sins to the priest, Luther would spend hours confessing his for he was cognizant of how sinful man is in his fallen state. It was not until he read in Galatians 3:11, “But that no man is justified by the Law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith,” that he realized it was not by the works of confession, simplicity of living as a monk, or even self-flagellation that provided forgiveness of sin but having a living faith based totally ALONE upon Jesus’ voluntary death on the Cross for man’s sin, His burial, and bodily Resurrection triumphant over sin and death (Romans 10:9-10). As a repentant sinner, Luther placed his full faith and trust in Christ apart from the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church from which he was eventually excommunicated and proclaimed anathema, bound for hell.

Only available in Latin and confined to only being read and interpreted by the Catholic Church, Luther began translating The Scriptures into the language of the German people so they, too, could read for themselves, “The just shall live by faith,” and find salvation in none other name but Christ Jesus as the Apostles preached on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 4:12). In doing so, Luther found himself having to be in hiding to complete the task as those led by the demons of Hell sought to stop his work. The Scriptures we hold in our hands today, written in our own language, found its beginning in the days of Luther on that fateful day in October 1517 when God opened the floodgates, that whosoever reads and keeps those things written therein will be blessed (Revelation 1:3).

A Seed Is Planted

IMG_4764The Parable of the Seed and the Sower Jesus taught the multitude gathered on the shore of the Sea of Galilee is familiar to many. Jesus spoke of seed that falls by the wayside where birds come and devour it. He spoke of seed falling on stony places that are unable to take root. He spoke of seed falling among thorns and being choked out. He concluded the Parable by speaking of seed that falls on good ground that is able to produce much fruit. Jesus later revealed to his disciples the seed in the Parable the sower sowed is The Word of God (Matthew 13:1-23).

When God’s Word sown into the heart of a man, woman, boy or girl takes root, a process begins to bring the Seed to full maturity. As one begins to read for themselves the Word of God, listens to the Scriptures being expounded upon by God’s appointed undershepherds, spends time in prayer with The Father, the Seed begins to break ground, grow and flourish. As one continues to draw closer to the Savior through His Word buds begin to form, announcing the Seed is maturing just as it should with daily cultivation. As the buds burst forth into blossoms the beauty of the Seed implanted in the heart is evident for all to see. The Seed continues on to maturity, bearing the anticipated fruit, “some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.”

The Psalmist David wrote of those who delight in the Law of the LORD and meditate upon His Word day and night are like a tree planted by the river that brings forth fruit in season, whose leaf withers not and whatsoever he does prospers (Psalm1:2-3). The Apostle Paul wrote of the Fruit of the Spirit showing forth love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance in those where the Seed has taken root and matured (Galatians 5:22-23). The abundant Christian Life abounds and flourishes when the Seed is planted deep in the heart of man, nurtured, watered and cultivated to produce much fruit for the Glory of God.

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

The BIBLE – The Story of God

Bible1rz

Contains 66 books

Variety of genres:  History, Poetry, Prophecy, Wisdom, Literature, Letters, Apocalyptic

Written by 40 different authors

Various author backgrounds:  Shepherds, Fishermen, Doctor, Kings, Prophets, & others

Written over 1,500 years

Written in 3 different languages:  Hebrew (Old Testament), Greek, & Aramaic (New Testament)

Written on 3 different continents:  Africa, Asia, & Europe

A common storyline:  Creation, The Fall, Redemption

A common theme:  God’s love for all mankind

A common message – Salvation is available to all who repent of sin

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Scripture is full of references to God instructing His words be recorded for posterity. Moses was told to, “Write this for a memorial in a book,” (Exodus 17:14). The Prophet Jeremiah was commanded to “Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book,” (Jeremiah 30:2). The Apostle John was told to “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.” (Revelation 1:19). To read the Bible is to read God’s Own Words written for every generation to read and learn of Him, and know Him.

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth;

but the Word of our God shall stand for ever.”

Isaiah 40:8

 

                                                                                           

 

The Relevancy of Scripture

It is often said the Bible is irrelevant for today; out-of-date, old-fashion. It is referred to as not applicable to today’s fast-paced modern society and situations. There has been a push in many circles to disregard its doctrines, its reproofs, its rebukes, even in some areas of Christianity. To neglect the most relevant Book of all time is to man’s great peril, for in its pages one finds the struggles common to all mankind in every age and the victories God gives to overcome them.

It was Job who suffered the loss of loved ones and disease in his body (Job 1-2).

The three Hebrew children Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego experienced refinement in the furnace of affliction as teenagers (Daniel 1-3).

Moses struggled with anger issues in killing the Egyptian taskmaster when he thought no one was looking and striking the rock when God had told him to only speak to it (Exodus 2; Numbers 20).

Peter was boastful of following Christ, even dying for Him, only to deny Him three times when confronted by others on crucifixion morning, suffering great shame for his act (Matthew 26).

The Apostle Paul suffered severe hardships at the hands of those who sought to silence his witness of the change that had taken place in his heart (Acts 22-28; II Corinthians 11).

There was the rich young ruler obsessed with riches, Zacchaeus’ promising to restore fourfold if he had defrauded anyone, Cain’s murder of his brother, David’s adultery with Bathsheba, Naomi’s daughter-in-law Ruth having to glean for sustenance, Solomon’s quest for knowledge, Jairus’ search for a cure for his daughter, and on and on (Luke 18,19; Genesis 4; II Samuel 11, Psalm 51; Ruth 2; Ecclesiastes 1; Mark 5). The Bible is full of human situations, tragedies, hope, redemption, love and the promise of receiving everlasting life though Jesus Christ.

The Scriptures overflow with examples of lives lived that are beneficial to living in today’s world with today’s people. Man has always had to reign in his emotions and be kind to his neighbor. He has always needed the peace of God to rule in his heart and mind to live successfully in this world and in the world to come. The precious words of Almighty God found in the Bible are just as relevant today as they were when Abraham, Isaac and Jacob walked the earth, along with everyone else who lived during Bible times, including Jesus’ disciples when they walked the dusty trails beside Him listening to His very words, the Word of God.

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime

were written for our learning,

That we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures

might have hope.”

Romans 15:4