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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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Peter was a man easily irritated. Peter was rash, hasty, impetuous, self-confident and capable of great anger, full of vigor with a boisterous temper.

Peter, crippled by fear, denied the LORD - not once, not twice, but three times, yet on the day of Pentecost stood before thousands preaching a message of repentance, forgiveness and love.

"Let us remember that this sermon was delivered by a divinely-energized Peter, who now boldly warns those who several weeks earlier had taken part in the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. He warns them that the day of divine judgment is near, and yet he gives hope because there is still an opportunity for repentance, salvation, and divine blessing. Let us listen well to these words, bearing in mind that thousands came to faith through this sermon."

Bob Deffinbaugh
Studies in the Bible

Peter is a vivid picture of a changed man. Changed by the power of the Holy Spirit to become a new man in Messiah. Bold in his faith, Peter willingly suffered persecution, imprisonment and beatings, rejoicing  that he was worthy to suffer for the Lord‘s sake.

John 21:18-19 speaks of the death of Peter. Church historians Tertullian, Origen, and Eusebius state that Peter was indeed stretched out by his hands, dressed in prison garb, and taken where he did not want to go. It is said Peter was crucified upside down because he felt unworthy to be crucified in the way that the Lord his Messiah had been. From an arrogant, cocky, man of thunder, he became a humble, willing, obedient servant of the LORD - even unto death.

As you stumble and fumble, fail and fall; groping and struggling day by day to follow the LORD, desiring to be all He has called you to be
... remember Peter.

(I did not realize [found the information while researching the life of Peter] there is extremely reliable evidence through church tradition and early church historians that the Gospel of Mark is actually the gospel of Peter. Peter is said to have dictated his discipleship with Jesus to John Mark. Mark was not present for Jesus’ ministry and did not have first hand knowledge of the extremely intimate details that are described in the book).

Sunday, February 24, 2013

It is hard for most of us to imagine the panic and fear experienced by those aboard the RMS Titanic.

Seldom if ever have we been placed in a position where life and death decisions are necessary - or have we.?.

The evacuation was slow and poorly managed. Many more could have been saved if there had been adequate training and preparation. As half-filled boats rowed away from the ship, passengers who had jumped from the ship attempted to swim toward the lifeboats. Due to protests from passengers or crew and to avoid being swamped by drowning victims, only two lifeboats returned to pull survivors from the water. For most - it was too little too late.

How many times have we rowed our half-filled boat away from someone who needed a word of encouragement, a smile or a hug.?. How many times have we avoided someone who was drowning in loneliness or despair and rowed away - for our own personal reasons.?.

How many times.?.


“Rescue the perishing, Care for the dying, Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; Weep o’er the erring one, Lift up the fallen, Tell them of Jesus the mighty to save. Rescue the perishing, Care for the dying; Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.”  Miss Fanny Crosby- 1869

Friday, February 22, 2013

The leaders and congregation of First Baptist Church Dallas are disappointed that New York Jets’ Quarterback Tim Tebow has announced he will no longer speak at First Baptist Church Dallas on April 28, 2013, as part of the month-long celebration events surrounding the grand opening of our new $130 million, state-of-the-art campus on Easter Sunday.

Mr. Tebow called Dr. Jeffress saying that for personal and professional reasons he needed to avoid controversy at this time but would like to come to First Baptist Dallas to speak at a future date.

We are saddened that Mr. Tebow felt pressure to back out of his long-planned commitment from numerous New York and national sports and news media who grossly misrepresented past comments made by our pastor, Dr. Robert Jeffress, specifically related to issues of homosexuality and AIDS, as well as Judaism.

As a Christian pastor, Dr. Jeffress takes a biblical approach to moral and social issues, closely following his duty to preach ‘the whole counsel of God,’ and not just address issues that are politically correct. First Baptist is a church built on the truth of Scripture, even though at times that approach can be perceived as controversial or counter to the prevailing winds of culture.

The reason for the recent media firestorm is not because the Word of God has changed, but because society has changed. More important, contrary to editorializing in the media, Dr. Jeffress shares a message of hope, not hate; salvation, not judgment; and a Gospel of God’s love, grace and new beginnings available to all.

"Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching."
2 Timothy 4:2

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"Uplifting, enlightening and truly powerful, the most exciting thing that ever could have happened."[speaking of meditation]  

"We’re all about building people up. We’re all about helping people reach their full potential."

"If you’re losing the battle against a persistent bad habit, an addiction, or a temptation, and you’re stuck in a repeating cycle of good intention-failure-guilt, you will not get better on your own! You need the help of other people."

"Jesus spent his brief adult life describing it, teaching it, and passing it on to future generations. Jesus intended to save the world by showing others the path to God-consciousness."

" I am a Christian who believes that there are certainly many more paths to God other than Christianity."

Heard enough.?.

The above quotes - from very influential, well known people - all professing to be Christians;

and we wonder why the world wants nothing to do with Christianity. Why the world laughs, mocks, ridicules.  Or, why the world sees itself as 'christian' - having all the Jesus they want or need.

Israel failed in its commission to take the good news to the world, to be a light in the darkness, and so it would appear has the church.

It is truly difficult for the world to tell the difference between the sheep from the goats.

"Then I heard another voice from heaven: Come out of her, My people, so that you will not share in her sins or receive any of her plagues." Revelation 18:4

Monday, February 18, 2013

"Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them." (Nehemiah 4:9)

Prayer is a powerful weapon, but the wall-builders in Jerusalem also were careful to set a watch against their enemies "with their swords, their spears, and their bows" (Nehemiah 4:13). They were ready to fight if necessary, but at the same time they were confident that "our God shall fight for us" (Nehemiah 4:20).

This is a sound biblical principle. God expects us to make appropriate use of whatever physical means are available for a needed ministry, rather than to rely simply on prayer and divine miracle. The Lord rebuked those who came asking Him to perform a miracle merely to test Him or to see something curious. "Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe" (John 4:48). Neither does He condone prayer in lieu of work, for "faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone" (James 2:17). The same holds for prayer in lieu of obedience. As Joshua was praying for deliverance from the enemy, "the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them" (Joshua 7:10-11)

But as prayer without working is dead, so watching and working without prayer are futile. "Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not" (James 4:2).

"Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain" (Psalm 127:1).
The biblical principle is not only to watch or only to pray. Both are essential. "Watch and pray," said Jesus, "that ye enter not into temptation" (Matthew 26:41).

Dr. Henry M. Morris
Institute for Creation Research

Friday, February 15, 2013


Norman Vincent Peale gave us  "The Power of Positive Thinking."

Joel Osteen’s message are described as ". . . simple self-help message." Those attending his church report his message to be both uplifting and accessible.

Rick Warren often called "the most inspiring preacher of our time" was greatly influenced by Robert Schuller of The Crystal Cathedral, who was greatly influenced by Norman Vincent Peale.

George Mair in his book A Life With Purpose states:

"feel good sermons" combine psychology and religion to form a therapeutic brand of religion. The sermons are motivational rather than academic and focus on the ordinary problems of ordinary people in their everyday lives. Mair contends Peale's present day followers know, as Peale did, "that to talk about sin, suffering, and guilt does not produce the attendance numbers they want."

Guided by the misguided, millions across the nation and around the world float aimlessly through life, adrift on the Dead Sea while the Fountain of Living Water is cast aside for yet one more feel good, uplifting, accessible, me first message.

"LORD, the hope of Israel, all who abandon You will be put to shame. All who turn away from Me will be written in the dirt, for they have abandoned the LORD, the fountain of living water." Jeremiah 17:13

Shake us and wake us LORD - That we may do the work You have called us to do.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Traditional methodology - most noticably preaching - is being discarded or downplayed in favor of newer means, such as drama, dance, comedy, variety, side-show histrionics, pop-psychology, and other entertainment forms... In the past half-decade, some of America's largest evangelical churches have employed worldly gimmicks like slapstick, vaudeville, wrestling exhibitions and even mock striptease to spice up their Sunday meetings. No brand of horseplay, it seems, is too outrageous to be brought into the sanctuary. Burlesque is fast becoming the liturgy of the pragmatic church."

John MacArthur ~

Ashamed of the Gospel,
When the church becomes like the world

The church says: 

"Come to Jesus, He will make you happy, He will fulfill the desires of your heart. He will comfort you, He will satisfy you. All you have to do is say this little prayer and you will be saved and on your way to heaven.

The Word of God says:

"If any of you want to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow Me." Matthew 16:24

"anyone who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me." Matthew 10:38

"To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps." I Peter 2:21

"I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does." John 5:19

"Follow Me." 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Just in case you had not heard:

An historic agreement has been drafted between Israel and the Vatican. The Israeli authorities have granted the Pope an official seat in the room where the Last Supper is believed to have taken place, on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, and where David and Solomon, Jewish kings of Judea, are considered by some researchers, to also be buried.

It is the culmination of a long campaign by the Catholic Church to regain religious stewardship over the place where Jesus is supposed to have broken bread and drunk wine with his disciples on the eve of his crucifixion.

And with the Vatican teaching and millions of catholics believing...

 "The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, he is Jesus Christ himself, hidden under the veil of flesh."  [Catholic National July 1895]

"The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in Heaven and earth." [Pope Pius V, quoted in Barclay, Chapter XXVII, p. 218, "Cities Petrus Bertanous"]

Pope Nicholas I declared: "the appellation of God had been confirmed by Constantine on the Pope, who, being God, cannot be judged by man."

what else would one expect.???.

BREAKING NEWS:

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI announced 2/11/13 that he will resign Feb. 28, ending eight years as head of the world's Catholics because the 85-year-old pontiff is too infirm to carry on. He is the first pope to resign in 600 years.

Very interesting - we watch and see what follows as it has been widely speculated that the successor to Pope Benedict XVI will be the last Roman Catholic pontiff – leading to what has been prophesied as the “great apostasy” and even the destruction of Rome.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2012/04/will-the-next-pope-be-the-last/#FICxq0pr53rbyQZa.99 

AND - following the announcement:

 vatican-hit-by-lighting-as-pope-says-he-is-stepping-down

A sign from God? Lighting strikes the basilica of St.Peter’s dome during a storm that struck Rome on the same day Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation.

Our God will not be mocked.!!.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tuning in to MSNBC, Fox, CBS... surfing the internet points out the perilous times in which we live. 

"in the last days grievous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good,  traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power..."

reads like today' headlines.

Man is consumed with self. Having denied the Power, man is ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth. They have forsaken God, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

We His people, called by His Name, must humble ourselves before our Righteous and Holy God. We must repent of the sins that have so easily beset us and seek His help through prayer and the study of His Word. Our prayer must be:  "LORD, radically transform 'me' so that 'I' may radically conform to Your Image."  

Then and only then will we be effective for His Kingdom.

There is no other way.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Bury these words deep in your heart. Remember them in the dark, difficult days ahead. 

When questions, doubt or fear creeps in,

Remember.

When trials seem overwhelming and burdens too heavy to bear,

Remember:

Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
there is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
as Thou hast been Thou forever will be.

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness
to Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.


Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thy own dear Presence to cheer and to guide;
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!


Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; all I have needed Thy hand hath provided;

great is Thy faithfulness, LORD, unto me!


REMEMBER.!!.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Reading about the starving North Koreans, the arrest and persecution of Christians in Iran, war in Syria, turmoil in the Middle East, murder and torture in Mali, I rejoice that I live in America. America, a christian nation, land of the free home of the brave. I am blessed beyond measure. I have a beautiful home, a new car, a great career. I have money in the bank, a savings account and a 401K. Without fear of persecution, I attend a church that welcomes one and all. Embracing our differences I rejoice in the goodness of God.

With grief and sadness we realize this is the mindset of far too many in the church today. Giving no thought to their own relationship with the Creator God, much less Christian' around the world, today' christians give a dollar or two when the offering plate passes, smile and nod as they rush out the door hoping they have not missed the kickoff and feel good having done their 'christian' duty. Persecuted imprisoned Christians across the world, those tortured and murdered for their faith in the LORD the "I" generation know not. 

But then - how many of us His remnant called by His Name are truly burdened for the lost within our own families much less around the world? How much time do we spend daily in prayer for others and for ourselves. How much time is spent in Bible reading? How often do we cry out for God to move in our own hearts, seeking Him to teach and to train us to be more like our Saviour. Do we ask Him to show us our sin, to examine our hearts? Do we repent for the things in our own lives that are not holy before our Holy God?  Do we grieve for those family members whose lives reflect the world and all it offers or pray for the Chinese, Iranian, North Korean Christians who are suffering?

The great commission is not striving for a nicer house, a bigger paycheck or better car. The great commission is a comma after the command then the beginning of faith in action for all Christians.

"go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.."

And the greatest commandment is:

 “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Let us begin planting seeds, watering seeds another has planted so that God can bring the increase. Let us begin making disciples by praying fervently for the lost in our families, our neighborhoods and around the world. Let us lovingly pray for those imprisoned, tortured, starving brothers and sisters in Christ.

Let us begin.... today.!. If we, His remnant, don't - Who will??