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Hebrews 5-6~ Day 98~ Share the basic principles!

"Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God's revelation again." (5:12)

Hummm..... Do I know the basic principles well enough to teach them?  I should, I've been a Christian for quite some time! How about you?  Have you turned around and taught the basic principles to others?

I just got an email from some friends we have in India.  The goal of their ministry is to spread the gospel throughout their country where less than 1% of the population are believers.  The model they use to do this is very bold (when compared to the western standard of "lifestyle evangelism"). Their model works like this; they share the gospel with one, when that person accepts the Lord as their savior, they are invited to a week long training, the first of four training sessions.  Then that person is to go back home and share the gospel with another.  The trained person has 2 ½ months to invite another to the training, t…

Hebrews 3-4~ Day 97~ Reading scripture through the right lens is key!

The lens you use greatly influences what you see in Scripture.  Wouldn't you agree?!

I love how the Hebrew writer connected the 7th day of the creation story, when God rested, to the rest we enter when we receive "the good news" (4:6).  He explained the concept so well, using the story of the Israelites in the desert...it made me wonder what Jews today believe about heaven.  So, I googled a site called MyJewishLearning.com.   The site "offers 1000's of articles, videos and other resources to help people understand Judaism".  I thought that would be a good place to look into what  Jews, today, think about heaven.

There was no mention of "entering God's sabbath".   They do not pick up on the symbolism of the Lord's sabbath as the Hebrew writer did.  In fact, what I read of their view (they have several theories) is that most believe people go to haven, but bad people will have a period of time in an interim state to think about the wrong d…

Hebrews 1-2~ Day 96~ Pay attention!!

"For this reason (the fact that Jesus is superior~1:4), we must pay attention all the more to what we have heard (about Jesus), so that we will not drift away(2:1)....Don' neglect your salvation."(2:3)

That verse stood out to me after receiving an email this morning.  The note was from a person I knew 35+ years ago.  He was trying to get in touch with the whole gang that hung out together at the YMCA, for a couple of years.  We were a group of teens joined together under the leadership of a "Grizzle Adam's" type, Christian leader.  Those were fun years for me and pivotal in the growth of my Christian faith.

Now, time has shown that not all in our group maintained their Christian beliefs.  They didn't pay attention to what they heard, so they drifted away.They neglected the one who was offering them salvation.  πŸ˜”

I love the directive the Hebrew writer gives, "we must pay attention all the more to what we have heard."  Learning about Christ is …

Philemon ~ Day 96~ Am I quick to forgive?

So, the other day I noticed and commented on that horrible list Paul wrote to Timothy of what people would be like in the last days.  One stood out to me that I hadn't noticed before.  "For people will be....irreconcilable." (3:3)

Being that we are in the last days now (Acts 2;17, Rom. 13:11-12, Heb. 1:1-2, James 5:3&8 and 1Peter 4:7), I'm sure you can share a story of two people you know who were never able to reconcile their differences.  I can! An argument can occur between Christians,  neither will humbly back down and as a result, the relationship is forever damaged.  If this occurs between two believers, then we can safely say, that neither of the two can clearly see the fact that Jesus forgave them from their own wicked ways. If they truly understood that, they would be able to turn around and forgive the other.

I bring this up because I think it's very consistent of Paul to first tell Timothy to look out for people who are irreconcilable, and then he…

Titus 1-3~ Day 94~ Be the moon, reflect the Son.

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Can God's word be slandered by things I do?
.....yup...you bet it can!

Paul gives a list of instructions on how a Christian should present themselves to the world, which include, reverent behavior, not slanderous, not slaves to excessive drinking, teaching what is good, encourage others to love their family, be self-controlled, pure, etc. (2:3-5). It's a pretty long list, but certainly not exhaustive, so Paul adds a line at the end that catches everything else that can be included in the lifestyle of a Christian, "so that God's word will not be slandered." (2:5b). That statement doesn't leave wiggle room.  Anything that can malign the word of God should be avoided.

Rephrasing that line can become a great question to use when self-evaluating.   "Will what I am about to do put a negative light on Jesus, Christianity, the church, and God's Word?"
OR,
to put it positively, "Will what I am about to do reflect well on Jesus?"   I gotta reme…

2 Timothy 3-4~ Day 93~Hard times are at hand...

I really gotta stop reading my news feed before I do my Bible reading!  It can be depressing!  And boy, was it depressing yesterday!
"Princeton Grad, 34, Faces Life Behind Bars, Convicted of Killing Dad Who Cut Off His Allowance", was the title of the article that caught my eye.
😡At 30 years old, this spoiled brat, who golfed, surfed and traveled-all paid for by his parents-decided to shoot his 70 year old father because his allowance of $1000 a week was being cut back. His father felt he needed to learn some responsibility and get serious in life.
The story made me sick to my stomach, so I pushed it away, picked up my Bible and started to read, "But know this: Hard times will come in the last days.  For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, demeaning, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanders, without self-control brutal, with our love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure ra…

2 Timothy 1-2~ Day 92~ Biblical Christianity verses Cultural Christianity

"Bachelorette Hannah Brown sends Luke P. home over premarital sex spat" was the headline on my news feed.  I haven't watched the show so, I was in the dark as to what that meant.  So, curious, I clicked on the title to read more about it.  I didn't really care to hear a secular side of the story, but I was interested to hear what Luke's brother, Mike, had to say in an interview.

He stated, "I want people to know, if anything, I want to be more like Luke.  Luke loves, he loves and he cares for people and he has a heart for Jesus and he wants to share the biblical truth of Jesus to people.  I'm proud of Luke, I am proud of the way he conducted himself.  He stood for biblical Christianity in opposition against this cultural Christianity of  'I can be a Christian and believe whatever I want to believe about God based on my own ideas and not what God's word says'."

Well, I think that was quite bold (and very naive) of Luke to go up against t…