Random ramblings from a sinner saved by grace

 

A word on the Word
7-6-2016

I have recently added new article links on the Meet Jesus page with some discussion on the Bible.

The Roman Highway
You've heard of The Roman Road, but this is really more of a highway as we take a walk down a condensed review of the book of Romans and the salvation message.

Jesus Christ Foretold!
This article reviews many Old Testament prophecies that point us to Jesus Christ and specifically his death, resurrection, and eternal kingship.

God's Mercy with Pharaoh
In this post I look into God's interaction with Pharaoh and the mercy the Lord extends to the king of Egypt so often overlooked as we focus on the wrath of the 10 plagues.

Is Jesus in the Old Testament?
Does Jesus ever appear in the Old Testament prior to His birth in Bethlehem? Join as we explore the preincarnate Christ's manifestation in the books of Genesis, Judges, Zechariah, and more!

 

Ms. Smith Goes to Washington
9-13-2015

Capitol

Just 10 days ago we enjoyed a first time visit to our nation's Capitol and what a tremendous trip it was! Like the late actor Jimmy Stewart we made our way through the buildings, museums, and monuments in awe, admiring the inspiring workmanship put into each masterpiece. One can't help but to feel proud to be an American as you walk through the National Mall... America, what a place!

Sadly this week a sharply divided issue arose on Capitol Hill and the arrows began to fly! It is the issue of Planned Parenthood Exposed, $500 million in national taxpayer funding for the organization, and their brutal abortions. Once again Smith goes to Washington. -This time it is not our beloved Jimmy, but rather Priscilla Smith who directs Yale Law School's Program for the Study of Reproductive Justice. What an ironic title I find when the woman is staunchly in favor of the murder of unborn children. Not only so but she somehow feels that the method of ripping a child's limbs off one by one in a heinous drawn out execution style is humane!

I can't help but think that if I took my pet dog out on the street and publicly began tearing her legs and tail off one at a time until she bled to death that the comments directed toward me would include many descriptions, but "humane" would not be one of them. In fact I do not think I would be able to finish the despicable act before police or fellow citizens would overtake me and incarcerate me at best for the crime. Yet the same thing is done to thousands of Americans in the womb each day and we turn our heads saying it's "legal", "necessary", or "humane". What have we become as a nation to reach this state of depravity???

How strange it is that we in America run around saying "God Bless America", yet we do nothing to obey the will of God. If something catastrophic happens in our country we blame God and demand why He didn't protect us. But like the Israelites thousands of years ago, during every time of comfort and protection we spit in God's face and blatantly violate His commands and morality.

There is a great debate on whether Planned Parenthood or anyone else performing abortions in this nation are operating within legal bounds, but the question is not whether it has been legalized (for all forms of devious behaviors can be legalized relative to the standards of the ruling party as we have seen), but rather are we living within the moral bounds that Christ has given us? Such a question is politically incorrect as we cannot bring God into any equation of government and law. -it would violate the Separation of Church and State, right? And here enlies our great danger.

When we have thrust God out of government and our lives, He will by our own will withdraw His support and protection, leaving us vulnerable to every threat and attack. So when that time comes let us not say, "Where was God?". God is right where we left Him, separated from our existance. Truly when we as a nation support and defend the wicked acts of abortion which have claimed the lives of well over 50 million Americans since 1973, we can no longer depend upon God's mercy to us as a people. We are doomed, moreover without repentance we are damned.

 

Learning from Language
3-2-2014

Over the last couple months I have been studying Hebrew from a great website called Hebrew4Christians.com. It has been a most interesting study of which I wanted to share a few things with you as best I understand them. First I found it fascinating that in Hebrew every letter takes on great significance in itself apart from any word it is a part of. The letters can symbolize God, man, God's connection to man, bread, life, etc. They also have a number (gematria) associated with them. This brings new meaning to the play on words that often appears in Scripture, though we English reading Christians miss out on a great deal of it.

Of course learning to read from right to left is a bit of a challenge, but once you get past that distraction there is so much to learn. For example, we read about how God changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah and blessed them with a son, Isaac. But did you know that the letter "hey" in Hebrew (H in English) means fruitful, and it is this letter that God added to their names when he allowed them to conceive Isaac?

There is nothing more wonderful to learn, I think, than the names of God. We think of Christ as Jesus, or the Father as Yahweh or Jehovah, but in Hebrew there are no "J"s or "W"s. It is fine for us to use the translated English names to refer to our Creator; however, if you are like me you are at least a little curious about the "true" name of God. Well I hate to disappoint you, but the true name of God was so sacred that the Jews did not properly write it down for fear of using the name in vain, so the real pronunciation remains unknown. Sadly we have the opposite problem today with people wrecklessly using God's name as a curse word, Christians and non-Christians alike.

While I can't give you exact pronunciation on the names of God, here are a few things you might like to know. We get the name Jesus from the Greek Iesous, which comes from the Hebrew Yeshua, which at the time of Christ's birth is said to have been the third most common name in the region. Christ truly came in a humble fashion, nothing to draw unique attention to Himself. Hebrew does not have any vowels for letters, so the name of God is simply YHVH. There is a great deal of debate about how this name was said. Some say it is Yahweh, but there is no "W" in Hebrew, so at best it might be said Yahveh. Another possibility is Jehovah, but remember there are no "J"s in Hebrew. What I think is more likely is a combination of the two which we would transliterate as Yehovah. But to debate on the exact pronunciation or spelling of the name matters little; what concerns the Lord far more is whether you have a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus/Yeshua. Do you?

 

Christian HalloweenJack-O-Lantern
11-2-2013

Take a look at the picture to the right and pick some adjectives to describe what you see. Lovely? Pure? Good? How about virtuous? No, none of these would be words to describe the picture or mood it sets. How about scary? Evil? Dark? Yes, these would be more appropriate. Yet, despite the Satanic association with Halloween a surprising number of Christians whole heartedly celebrate this day. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." If God has not given us a spirit of fear, then why do we seek to subject ourselves to it? I am curious to know how the practices of Halloween coincide with the command of the apostle Paul in Phillipians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." By celebrating Halloween are we not doing just the opposite? Rather than having our minds set on the things of Christ are we not setting our focus on things of darkness and the master thereof?

It is written in the Gospel of John 3:19-20, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." Now to clarify, the darkness spoken of here is referring to the darkness or wickedness of Satan, and the light is a reference to Jesus Christ. Condemnation is placed upon all who choose Satan over Jesus Christ. I am not saying that by celebrating Halloween you will be cast into hell, but I am stating that Halloween in itself is a praise to Satan and his dark iniquities. Those who immerse themselves into that "darkness" are removing themselves from the light of Christ which is not what any of us who adhere to the Scripture should do.

There are many who will be offended by this message and angry with my "judgement" so called, but that is merely a fulfilment of the Scripture when it says, "every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." This is to say that if this post against Halloween angers you that you should consider the Scripture and ask yourself whether you love evil deeds and fear their reproval? If you are a true believer, I encourage you to pray for the Lord to show you His truth on this matter and bring you ever into a closer relationship with Him. If you choose evil rather than Christ then why claim His name at all? He will cast all into hell who are not willing to follow His commands; do not deceive yourself. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 7:21 The Scripture warns that simply professing the name of Christ will not save you, only those who follow the Lord's will. Jesus said in Luke 6:46, "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"

I do not mean to be hurtful in what I write, but I have great sorrow that many people on this earth proclaim to be Christians, go to church, pray, even "invite Jesus into their hearts", but without living out the commands of Christ it will profit you nothing in the everlasting life to come. I feel that there is nothing I have written here that does not come from the word of God, so I only urge you to look into your heart and purify yourself in all areas to be pleasing to the One who made you. My heart's desire is that you and I will spend eternity with our Savior Jesus Christ and be more than strangers, that we would be brothers and sisters forevermore. "The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee" Numbers 6:25

 

A Threefold Cord is not Quickly Broken
8-8-2013

In our wedding service 2 years ago, Rachelle's father spoke about the strength of a threefold cord (Ecclesiastes 4:12) and how when a couple is bound to each other and Christ, there is a bond that is stronger than any trial that life might bring. That threefold bond will endure because Jesus Christ gives strength to that relationship. What brings me to write about this is something that happened at work this week that brought the Scripture to mind. I am a purchasing agent for my company and as such was reviewing a supplier's sample of some rope that was being quoted to us. As I observed the sample earlier this week I noticed that the twisted rope sample had 3 cords while the braided rope sample had 8 cords. Today as I gathered more information about the rope I learned that the twisted (threefold cord) rope had a tensile strength that was over 130 pounds greater than the braided rope of the same size, or a 12% greater strength than the braided rope. Is it a coincidence that our Lord gave an accurate illustration of a threefold relationship or do we just serve an awesome creator?

 

I Am Innocent of This Man’s Blood!
8-2-2013

Reading the final chapters of the book of Matthew today I came across a most peculiar statement by Pilate who condemned Jesus to death by crucifixion. Beginning in Matthew 27:22, we read how the crowd overwhelmed Pilate who against his better will sentenced Jesus to death on the cross. In opposition to this decision he washed his hands publicly and declared, “I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.” The irony is that Pilate would have been guilty whether he had sentenced Jesus to death or not. The truth is that Jesus died not because He was overpowered by human authority but because He willingly sacrificed His life for the redemption of sins. -that is to make a way of eternal life for those who choose to believe in Him. For this reason Pilate by nature of his sins was guilty of Christ’s suffering and death as are you and I.

We are all guilty of condemning Christ to death because we are all sinners unable to attain eternal life without the covering of a perfect sacrifice which comes by no other means than through Jesus Christ, God’s only Son. Sin is simply defined as disobedience to the will of Almighty God, or the transgression of His commandments. Have you ever done any of these things? Lied, cheated, used God’s name in vain, harmed another person, stolen, fornicated (sex before marriage), committed adultery, sodomy, or masturbation, had an abortion, been gluttonous in your eating, practiced witchcraft/sorcery (i.e. Ouija board, dungeons & dragons, fortune reading, engaged your mind in books or movies like Harry Potter or the Twilight series), wished evil upon another? All of these things and more would be classified as sin, and the problem for us is that if you are guilty of even one little sin God considers you guilty of them all! And once you are stained with sin you cannot be in the presence of God without the saving grace of Jesus’ salvation.

Immediately after Christ died on the cross a number of miracles took place among which was a tremendous earthquake, graves that opened up, the dead arose and walked the streets full of life, but the first and most important thing that changed our world was the temple curtain being ripped in two, from top to bottom Matt 27:51. That the curtain was torn in two is in itself a miracle, but the significance is far more so. Based on Exodus 36 the curtain was 20 cubits by 40 cubits (approximately 30 feet by 60 feet). It is said that the curtain was 4 inches thick and took 300 men to carry it. For the curtain to tear in two from top to bottom was none other than an act of God, but why did He do it? The curtain separated the Holy of Holies from the inner part of the temple; essentially it served to shield Holy God from sinful man. Only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies once per year to sacrifice in the presence of God in intercession for the people’s sin. When Christ died as the perfect sacrifice He became our eternal priest and eliminated the separation of God and man, giving us a direct relationship to God through His Son Jesus. We are thereby able to stand in the Holy of Holies. -that is in direct contact and relationship with God the Father. This is the miracle of the torn curtain following Christ’s death.

Going back once more to Christ’s death I bring to your attention those who died with Him, the thieves. While suffering their own crucifixion the thieves participated in mocking Jesus as noted in Matthew 27:44, but there was a distinct difference in the two. We see in other Gospel accounts that one of the thieves actually had a change of heart and called on Christ to remember him when Jesus came into His kingdom. To this repentance Jesus accepted His faith and extended salvation to the thief. Now I want you to imagine yourself as one of those thieves because in reality you aren’t much different. Because you are a sinner you are guilty of all sin before God making you no better than the thief on the cross. Because you are mortal you are in a dying state as the thief on the cross. Because you have sinned you are responsible for crucifying Christ and by nature of your disobedience to God you have mocked Christ’s death on the cross. Now the only question that remains is will you be like the thief who died in rebellion or will you choose to repent and ask Jesus, “Remember me when you are in your kingdom”?

Oh, there is one other part of the story I should add… 3 days after Jesus died he came back to life, receiving the glory of God and the keys of hell and death. In other words Jesus was victorious over death and has authority over where you will spend eternity. Might I make a suggestion? Choose eternal life by accepting His gift of salvation made possible through His death on the cross. He bore your sins for you, don’t deny the gift!

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