The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

"One of the great causes why God cannot bless His Church is the lack of love.

When the body is divided, there cannot be strength.

In the time of their great religious wars, when Holland stood out so nobly against Spain, one of their mottoes was: "Unity gives strength." It is only when God's people stand as one body, one before God in the fellowship of love, one toward another in deep affection, one before the world in a love that the world can see-it is only then that they will have power to secure the blessing which they ask of God. Remember that if a vessel that ought to be one whole is cracked into many pieces, it cannot be filled. You can take one part of the vessel and dip out a little water into that, but if you want the vessel full, the vessel must be whole. That is literally true of Christ's Church. And if there is one thing we must pray for still, it is this-Lord, melt us together into one by the power of the Holy Spirit. Let the Holy Spirit, who at Pentecost made them all of one heart and one soul, do His blessed work among us.

Praise God, we can love each other in a divine love, for "the fruit of the Spirit is love." Give yourselves up to love, and the Holy Spirit will come; receive the Spirit, and He will teach you to love more."

Andrew Murray
Absolute Surrender

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lance Armstrong is one of the most remarkable people of our generation. Diagnosed with cancer at the age of 25 and given only a 40 percent chance of survival, he went on to win seven Tour de France titles. But then came years of doping accusations. Lance Armstrong has decided to stop fighting these allegations. In response, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency banned Armstrong from professional cycling for life and vacated his Tour de France titles. The cyclist says that his most important race goes on: promoting cancer awareness and research. The cancer survivor has raised nearly $500 million since the Lance Armstrong Foundation started in 1997. [As the parent of a cancer patient], I sincerely hope he continues to raise money and awareness about this horrific disease. At the same time, it's hard not to be shocked at the way his amazing cycling career has ended.

Another Armstrong made the weekend news as well: Neil Armstrong died Saturday at the age of 82. When he set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969, he made the statement heard around the world: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." The Apollo 11 moon mission was his last space flight. He left NASA a year later to become a professor of engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

Armstrong refused all offers to use his fame for personal advancement. Life magazine described his legacy well: he "was one of those rare, genuine heroes whose legend grew larger with passing years not because he nurtured the myths that attached to him as the first human to walk on the moon, but because he quietly, resolutely refused to play the role of the publicly lauded Great American." His humility was both genuine and remarkable.

One Armstrong finished well; the other may yet forge a great legacy but today lives in the shadow of scandal. Their stories prove the truth of the old adage: it's not where you begin the race that matters, but where you end.

The same is true for us. Jacob stole his brother's birthright; Moses killed a man and fled as a felon; David was a murdering adulterer; Peter three times denied knowing his Lord; Paul persecuted Christians to the death. But try writing the story of human history and redemption without them. Their common secret: they learned to define success by faithfulness. Our culture defines it by fame and fortune, popularity and possessions, but God knows better. If we live every moment of this day in God's will for his glory, when our days are done we will say with Paul, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7).

Whose race are you running today?

Dr. Jim Denison
Denison Forum

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pascal wrote:

"There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus."

Yet man, in his sinful. depraved state continues to try.

This was posted on Facebook by a young man who seems to be searching and thinks he has found the answers to his questions - filling the void in his heart. Pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal truth to this young man:

"I now worship the sun. Its been there for me since before I was born. Giver of life it rises and sets with beauty and poise. I aspire to be like the sun. Always radiant and warming the world with its love. It tirelessly gives and asks for nothing in return. It does not pass judgement, it does not demand my prayers or good works, it simply leads by example every day. I love you sun, you have done more for me than anyone or anything else. Without you the world would be a dark cold and desolate place. Thank you sun for bringing me the day."

A Christian's response:

I now worship the SON. He's been there for me since before I was knit together in my mother's womb. The Giver/Creator of life, He never slumbers or sleeps and walks in beauty ~ the Giver of Grace and Love. I aspire to be like the SON, always radiant and warming the world with His Love. He tirelessly gives to us, asking only to be recognized for Who He is and honored in return. He is the Righteous Judge who has, in love, taken the punishment His Justice demands upon Himself on my behalf. He does not demand my prayers but longs for communication with me which I am invited to have with Him through prayer. Any good works I can do in thanksgiving to Him, gives me a reason for the gift of Life He has given. He came from His royal abode as God to be born as a babe into the world He created and grew up to show me He understands my difficulties, my temptations, my heartbreak and my pain. Then, He took the penalty I deserved for ignoring Him, living a disobedient life and died a torturous humiliating death in my place, bringing Life into His body once again three days later to show me that this life is not all there is. I love You, SON! You have done more for me than anyone [or anyting] else! Without You the world would be a dark and desolate place.

Thank You, SON, for giving me this day. Help me use it wisely to honor You and help others.  Help me to worship the Creator, not the creation.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.(John 16:2-3)
Evidently Bouazizi's frustration with the corruption and daily humiliation was shared by many of his countrymen, for the demonstrations which followed led to the collapse of the Tunisian government, and which spilled out over the borders into Libya, Morocco, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.
The uprising against basically corrupt, secular and accomodationist Arab governments, has come to be known as the Arab Spring.
Hailed by many in the West as the dawning of a new democratic middle east, The Arab Spring was considered to be an Obama foreign policy success, a direct outcome of president Obama's unprecedented address to the Muslim world in 2009 at Al Azar University in Cairo.
The drama of the Egyptian protests in particular captured the world's imagination. When protesting Muslims gathered for prayers in Tahrir square, they were protected from the brutality of Mubarak's police by a human shield of Coptic Christians. The image was one of solidarity and shared suffering, and it captured the imagination of the world.
But the illusion was soon shattered for within days of the fall of Mubarak, the Egyptian Army was deployed in tanks and armored personnel carriers to fire upon at Coptic monasteries, killing monks as they sang the Kyrie Eliason,(Lord Have Mercy).Other Copts were attacked by enraged mobs for peaceably protesting the kidnapping of young Christian girls to be "converted" and married to Muslims.
In the elections that followed the fall of Mubarak, Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim brotherhood candidate prevailed handily, and has since been consolidating his power.
Shariah, the Islamic legal code is being implemented and now troubling reports are coming out of Egypt that Coptic Christians, and other perceived enemies of the Egyptian state, are being subjected to crucifixion.
You read it right...Crucifixion! The following is from a Raymond Ibrahim article,
A Sky News Arabic correspondent in Cairo confirmed that protestors belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood crucified those opposing Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others. Likewise, Muslim Brotherhood supporters locked the doors of the media production facilities of 6-October [a major media region in Cairo], where they proceeded to attack several popular journalists.
Evidently Crucifixion is one of the Koranically proscribed punishments according to the same article,
Moreover, those alleged to have been crucified in Egypt certainly fit the Koran's description of who deserves to be crucified. According to Allah, "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this: that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off…" (Koran 5:33).
As if crucifixion isn't cruel and a horrible enough punishment, notice the injunction to "cut off the opposing hand and foot" of certain "mischief-makers".
  • This was explained to me as a particularly vicious way to cripple and degrade a person for life. The left hand and the right foot are removed. Why? Because in the pre-modern world that Islam seems to thrive in the left hand is used for sanitation.The feet are essential for bodily relief as there are no toilets.
This punishment not only cripples, but humiliates and degrades as well. Further proof that there is nothing holy about the Koran.
Such cruelty is hard to fathom but it is becoming commonplace in the Muslim world these days.Two Christian brothers were crucified by Muslims on the Ivory coast recently. Christian children in Iraq were crucified by Muslims to intimidate the remaining Chaldean population into fleeing.
What we are seeing in countless places such as Egypt, Iraq, Indonesia and Nigeria, is Islam in practice.
The Shahs, Mubaraks, Saddam Husseins, and Gadaffis have all paid dearly for trusting and working with our western leaders, only to be undermined, and thrown to the baying Muslim "street" mobs, their nations consigned to the nightmare of "Shariah".
In their reign, they were brutal indeed, but were holding back and suppressing something even worse, the open expression of the hatred and brutality that is Islam. Now the Genie is out of the bottle.
The "gods" of the nations are not mere constructs. Any other "god" than the Infinite, personal, Triune God of the Bible, is demonic . Punishments like these seem to underscore that the god of Islam is the devil.
When Christians have revivals and repent and return to the faith of their Lord and Saviour and to the scriptures, good things happen, schools are built, as are hospitals, compassion and mercy are written into laws, the poor are relieved, people are salvaged, and others sacrifice comforts to reach the unreached.
But when Muslims go back to their religion, crucifixion and maimings abound, terror spreads, pressure is put upon peaceable societies to accommodate an increasing list of demands to placate Muslim sensibilities, and security costs spiral. In short, when there is an Islamic revival, people get hurt and even killed.
We must pray for the Muslim people, that they might be saved by believing in Jesus. Jesus died for them also, that they might escape the coming wrath.If we love the ones among us, perhaps we can reach them.
Our only comfort is the sure knowledge that God is in control, and that these things have to happen to bring about the long prophesied world situation leading to the coming of the Son of Man.Jesus is coming soon! Maranatha!
Bill Randles/Believers in Grace

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The trials of time were appointed in eternity. He who chose us unto eternal life–also planned the path by which we are to reach it! Nothing ever happens to us by ‘chance’.

Our little trials, our great troubles, our heavy crosses, our painful losses–are all a part of God’s plan!

Nor did He plan afflictions for us merely haphazardly–He planned them because He saw that we needed them. He intended to make them rich blessings to us.

Every cross is a mercy, every loss is a gain, every trouble is a blessing, and every trial is a seed of joy!
We shall be better in the future–for what we suffer now. If we sow in tears–we shall reap in joy. A wet spring will introduce a glorious harvest. Many of our present tears will crystallize into pearls–and will be an ornament to us in glory!

And not only so, but the same love which planned our trials–also provides strength to bear them. Our choicest comforts will flow from them. Time reveals what God planned in eternity–and eternity will reveal what God had in view in all the trials of time!

Let us, then, bear our afflictions with patience, and seek grace to honor God in all that we suffer, as well as by all that we do. If we keep our eye fixed on glorifying God–He will order and arrange everything that happens to us, so that it shall work for our good. Nothing shall by any means hurt us. The darkest clouds shall bring showers of blessings; and our sharpest pains shall only introduce us to the sweetest joys!

Comfort for Christians
by: James Smith

Thursday, August 16, 2012

None of us know what tomorrow will bring.

We prepare for "a rainy day,"  We have a "nest egg." We have medical insurance, life insurance, 401Ks, IRAs and monies set aside  for our retirement. We work and save and pinch our pennies to have more assests and fewer liabililties.

But are we like Mary or like Martha?

Have we ~

''sown much, and bring in little; eaten, but have not enough; drank, but  are not filled with drink; clothed, but there is none warm;

Have we ~ earned wages only to put it into a bag with holes." Haggai 1

When a professing believer  never seems to have enough and his money bag seems filled with holes, it is time to consider carefully his ways before the Lord and re-examine his priorities.

Knowing our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and is well able to supply all our needs, since His Word tells us that "my God shall supply all your need [not greed] according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus"  AND since our heavenly Father knows that we have need [not greed]  of....even before we ask...

Wherein lies the problem?

Do we give of our best to the Master?
Are God’s kingdom and His righteousness our first concern?
Do we grieve over the sin in our lives?
Do we strive to live holy lives before our God and others?

Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10

Think of These Things.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

As the 2012 Olympics came to a close, the voice of John Lennon rang out loud and clear for all the world to hear:

Imagine there's no heaven. It's easy if you try
No hell below us; above us only sky
Imagine all the people; living for today.

Imagine there's no countries, It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too
Imagine all the people, living life in peace.

Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger - A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people, sharing all the world...

Imagination, Dreams, Socialism, Utopia: but not reality.

Our sovereign King offers His people something far better in this earthly life: His love and comfort, strength and hope.  Hope that will be fulfilled when He welcomes us into His glorious eternity.

As the world marches onward toward a totalitarian world system, we are likely to face loss, hatred, persecution and suffering. After all, Jesus has called us to share in His suffering. But with the suffering comes an ever sufficient supply of strength, endurance and joy in Him!

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ...in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:35-39

kudos to Crossroads for allowing me to gleen their fields.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Regardless of what surrounds me ~

regardless of what I may see, or think, feel or hear...

My God reigns.

He is faithful, He is true. I can never outlove Him, outgive Him, outlast Him - for He ever walks before me - leading me in paths that I must travel. He was in my past, He is in my present and He waits for me in my future.

"...let  the peace of God rule in your hearts..." Colossians 3:15

Friday, August 10, 2012

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.

Does it?

My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Really?

Do we weep, crying out in ferverent prayers, yearning to be closer to our Father? Do we long to hear His voice in the cool of the day?  Is our heart grieved by our sins, heavy with the reality of the lost and dying among us? Are our lives filled to overflowing with the desire to glorify and honor Him? Do we awaken each morning with a song in our hearts, and end each day with a prayer on our lips?

Or have we become as a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal?

May our Sovereign L-RD and King awaken within us a desire to truly know Him and the power of His might.

"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost." Isaiah 55:1

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"I prayed for Faith, and thought that some day Faith would come down and strike me like lightning. But Faith did not seem to come.  One day I read in the tenth chapter of Romans, 'Now Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God'. I had closed my Bible, and prayed for Faith. I now opened my Bible, and began to study, and Faith has been growing ever since. "~D.L. Moody

Sunday, August 5, 2012

"And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it." Isaiah 35:8

Untold millions across the nation and around the world profess to be Christians ~

Like the angels who beheld His glory, witnessed the creation, lived amidst the glory of God, choosing instead to follow Lucifer, they too believe the Bible is the Word of God, that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died on the cross. Most believe He is the only way to heaven and commit to live a moral life, go to church, get involved perhaps even in a ministry or in leadership ~ but are they saved?

The Bible is very clear, we must:

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it." Matthew 7:13

A belief in the historical resurrection is a beginning - not an end.

Have you as a Christian repented of your sins?  Do you continue to repent, grieving over your failure to be a luminous light instead of a flickering flame to a lost and dying world? Is your hearts desire to bring glory and honor to the Name of our L-RD or get tickets to the Superbowl, a bigger house, a better job, a fatter paycheck...?  

Have you as a Christian surrendered to the lordship of Jesus in your life, giving Him who is the Supreme Authority - supreme authority over all that you are and ever hope to be?  Do you live a life dedicated to our L-RD, our Saviour, and our King, striving, desiring to be conformed to His image?

If not, you are not saved. Do not play games with G-d, you will not win.

Turn from your sin and be saved.

"But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:14

Friday, August 3, 2012

C. S. Lewis would have loved the Olympics. Its roots sink deep into the ancient mythology that captivated his heart.

Long after he chose to believe the Bible was true, he continued to justify pagan myths as precursors to the Gospel. In his imagination-rich mind, he believed that "Christianity fulfilled paganism," believing that the two were simply a continuous thread of the same evolving story.

The countless similarities between Olympic themes and books by C. S. Lewis remind us that human nature doesn't change with time. In spite of cultural shifts through the ages, humanity faces the same timeless temptation to trade Biblical absolutes for the allure of man-made myths -- titillating tales, spiritual ideals, triumphant power, fleshly sensuality, the vision of peace and unity…

the more things change, the more they remain the same.
Berit Kjos/Crossroad

"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:6-9