The Point of it all--#17

Nov 28, 2022

Why is the Bible so important? Why must a person consider the claims of the Bible carefully? In other words, what's the point of the Bible?

We've previously talked about letting the Bible speak for itself and considering what it says about itself. These include the claims that:

  •  The Bible is a record of the revelations of God given to men.
  • The Bible is inspired; God showed the various authors what to write down.
  • The Bible is inerrant.
  • The Bible has received divine protection to ensure its existence continues throughout history.

However, numerous lies and distortions concerning the Bible's teachings are still bandied about. One often repeated fallacy is that the God of the Old Testament is not the God of the New Testament. Richard Dawkins, in his book The God Delusion, states,

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic...

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"The Word" in Acts

Nov 18, 2022

In our last discussion, we looked at how the Jews of the Old Testament, especially the Psalmist, viewed the Scriptures as the "Word" of God in written form. This reverence and respect for the Scriptures carried over to believers in the New Testament era. 

In the Acts of the Apostles, two words, "λόγος," [logos] and "ῥῆμα" [rhema], are words that translate into English as the term "word." However, only three times—in Acts 10:37, 11:16, and 28:25—does the word "ῥῆμα" appear. The Greek word ῥῆμα means ".. …an utterance (individual, collective, or speculative). . .used to refer to matter or topic . . ." (Strong's Concordance). Throughout the rest of Acts, Luke uses the term "λόγος." To Luke, the term Greek word "λύγος

referred not only to specific individual words said by  Christians (Acts 8:25, 10:44, 13:5.7) but also to a topic “. . . of...

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#9--Miracles are Real!

Sep 27, 2022

One aspect of the Bible that creates stumbling blocks for many folks is the Bible's accounts of miracles. Many non-believers and Liberal theologians doubt the veracity and inspiration of the Biblical record because the Bible recounts various miracles.


What is a miracle? According to the Bible, a miracle is an event or activity only God can perform. It involves the direct and decisive action of God. This action usually supersedes one or more natural laws. Miracles defy behavioral expectations [such as the plague of frogs] or natural laws [Jesus' walking on the water]. Miracles testify to the supernatural work of God. Miracles demonstrate God's mastery over the physical universe and His interest in the lives of individuals and groups.


The incredible nature of some of these recorded miracles leads some people to reject the Bible. However, these miracles are actual historical events. Although these occurrences may appear fantastic and almost unbelievably extraordinary to man's limited...

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#3--Civilization and Divine Revelation

Sep 12, 2022

Have you ever considered what the world would be like is God had never spoken to humanity?

A world void of the revelation of God [either through His prophets or through His Word] would be significantly different. If God had never revealed Himself through His Word, humanity would never have received the assurance and peace that come through faith by hearing God's Word (Ro.10:17). The basis for Western civilization's law and society would not exist. Men would have no absolutes or truth to guide them. If God had not spoken, "at sundry times and in diverse manners… unto the fathers by the prophets. . .” or "unto us by his Son" (Heb. 1:1-2), and if that revelation had not been written down it would have been forgotten by latter generations, the only possible revelation available to man would have been the more obscure revelation of nature, history, or of conscience.

However, the revelation of nature, history, and conscience is incomplete. Yes, God has spoken through nature...

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Want Peace?

Aug 26, 2022

This is the day the Lord has made we should rejoice and be glad in it!

While enduring the horrors of the concentration camp in 1943, Dutch author Etty Hillesumwrote these profound words in her diary as she sought to banish worry,

Ultimately we have just one moral duty; to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves—Etty  Hillesum.

Ms. HIllesum fully understood what Jesus meant when He declared,

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34)

Ms. Hillisum certainly understood that life can bring great frustration and pain.  She experienced continual danger, humiliation, and pain while being in a concentration camp.  However, Ms. Hillisum realized something that many of us do not; the only thing that she could control was her own attitude and mind. Worry and anxiety would only sap her strength.

Worry is a false god that promises control; but worry merely opens the door to the...

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Unexpected Opportunities

Jul 02, 2022
 

One of my strengths is the ability to focus intently on one activity or problem.  However, this strength becomes a weakness if I allow myself to become inflexible in my thinking or how I work with the people who surround me.  If I focus on my expectations and plans coming to pass exactly as I have planned, I will suffer great disappointment and may miss God's best for our lives.

When our plans are interrupted or go awry, we have the opportunity to use that problem to grow in grace and become more like Jesus, or we can choose to stew in frustration and disappointment.  A recent book Ambushed by Joy speaks of the balance we need to maintain in order to live in the fulness of life that God intends for us.  

I took the unexpected interruption of a rainy day to make a cartoon video!   Please watch this short video to learn more. 

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Gots Spots? Well, I do!

Sep 21, 2021

I hope I can explain this clearly....

I found my first red leaf of the fall yesterday. Our sycamores have been dropping yellow leaves, but I constantly look for the red and bright orange leaves that let me know that the cooler days of autumn are finally coming to release us of the humidity and mosquitos of summer.  This red leaf, even with its black spots of decay, grabbed my attention filled me with  the anticipation of breezy, cool autumn days.  

You know, in some ways I  resemble that leaf. I have areas of blackness and decay in my life--not just from aging, but from not yet being conformed to the image of Jesus in all areas of my life. I often try to ignore these dark areas, for these imperfections frustrate and embarrass me. However, I am sometimes so aware of my failures and shortcomings, that I am hesitant to speak of the greatness of God.  I think: How can I speak into this situation when I am so messed up myself?  I wonder if...

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Surprised by a "Suddenly"!

May 08, 2021

May 6, 2021

 Sometimes God surprises me.

 Have you ever heard something like this, “Well, just when I thought I had figured things out...”?

 The person usually goes on to explain how their plans got upset in some way.

 Well, I can say just as I thought I had figured out what God wanted me to focus on for the next few months, He surprised me.  I thought I was to focus on family projects and personal health [yes, I gained weight during the pandemic and let my regular exercise slide].  On the ministry side, I was to focus on finishing a video course concerning prophetic witchcraft, rewrite a book on hope, create several e-booklets and other materials to encourage believers, and prepare another video course.

 All these things are important, of course.  All this need doing, and I felt as if the Lord wanted me to work on each of these areas, which meant disciplining myself and creating a balanced work schedule.  Unfortunately, none...

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The Lion Arises

Jan 13, 2021
 

Like many of you, Christmas  time this year was a roller coaster of emotions.  Our family is scattered, and getting together was impossible, except for a couple of hours here and there. While we had planned to have a small Christmas celebration with one other couple whose family is far away, illness [not Covid; we were quarantining ourselves before Christmas] interrupted those plans.  The few Christmas presents that I purchased online did not all arrive, the weather was awful, and to  top it all off, I miscalculated the time it would take for the chicken to roast, so we had had only vegetables ready for our Christmas meal!

Yet through it all, I kept asking God to help  me celebrate Christmas in my heart with true joy and thanksgiving.  I also sought His direction for the new year.  I felt led to repent of unkept promises, to  release all those who had disappointed me, and to fulfill some long term projects that I was involved with.

Then on...

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Reality and Christmas Hope: Be Encouraged, Mom!

Dec 13, 2020
 

I will be blogging on the second part of "Looking back to look forward" but I felt that moms needed encouragement, especially this year when the pressure to make Christmas amazing and wonderful is intense.  God promises "peace on earth", good-will towards men, but moms often seem to live on a battleground.

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