Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2013

Let me begin this post by asking you four direct questions about the condition of your soul right now:

  • Do you sense that your affections for the Savior have diminished recently?
  • Has your appetite for Scripture weakened?
  • Does your soul seem dry?
  • Does God seem distant from you?

If so, you are not alone. These struggles are common to even the most mature Christians—so common that Scripture anticipates them. But these are serious problems and must be addressed and not ignored. They don’t just go away over time.

So how should we respond?

Tucked away in the short (and often neglected) letter of Jude we find help and hope:

But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. (Jude 1:20–21)

In these verses we find a command and three practical ways to obey the command.

The command

First, the command: “Keep yourselves in the love of God.” This is our responsibility and it requires effort on our part. The good news is that Jude doesn’t leave us guessing. One commentator writes, “Jude did not leave his congregation in suspense about how to keep themselves in God’s love.”[1]

No, he does not leave us in suspense or wondering how to do this. In fact Jude wonderfully provides us with three means by which the reader can keep himself in the love of God.

1. Remind yourself of the gospel (“building yourselves up in your most holy faith”).

The “most holy faith” is the gospel. And the first way we keep ourselves in the love of God is to grow in our understanding of the gospel and to remind ourselves of the gospel each day. There is no more effective way to keep yourself in the love of God each day than to remind yourself of the gospel.

As you meditate upon the gospel, as you preach the gospel to yourself, as you receive the gospel into your soul afresh each day, your awareness of the love of God increases and your affection for the Savior grows.

So how much time do you devote each day to the strategic study, thinking, meditation, contemplation, reflection, and proclamation of the gospel to your own soul as a means of keeping yourself in the love of God?

Review the content of the gospel, rehearse the content of this “most holy faith,” and rejoice in the gospel each and every day. What a sweet assignment! And as we do this we are keeping ourselves in the love of God.

2. Pray in the Holy Spirit (“praying in the Holy Spirit”).

An awareness of God’s love cannot be sustained without prayer. Nor can a relationship with God be maintained or cultivated apart from prayer. So Jude commands us to pray. In dependence upon the Spirit, we pray to God the Father, through the Mediator he has provided in Jesus Christ.

We pray to God at the beginning of the day. We pray at structured times in our day. We pray spontaneously throughout the day. Prayer is not only a discipline it is a means of keeping ourselves in the love of God. This perspective will transform our perspective of prayer and our practice of prayer.

3. Await Christ’s return (“waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life”).

Waiting is not my preference. I don’t believe in lines! I try to avoid waiting in lines at the grocery store and I try to avoid traffic on the road. In fact I’d rather be moving in the wrong direction than stuck in traffic going in the right direction.

On the other hand, I don’t mind waiting 45 minutes for a table when I’m at a restaurant on a date with my wife. Why not? For the next 45 minutes I will look into the eyes of the woman I love with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. There’s a big difference between waiting in line at the grocery store and waiting 45 minutes to be seated when I’m at a restaurant with my wife.

As Christians we wait. But we await the mercy of our Savior that brings eternal life. Think about that! We do not wait for God’s judgment or condemnation. We do no wait for God’s wrath that our sins deserve! No, we are anticipating mercy. We anticipate mercy because Jesus Christ suffered as our substitute, receiving upon himself the wrath we deserve so that we receive mercy—mercy we don’t deserve. That is what we are waiting for.

As we anticipate the future our perspective of present circumstances will be transformed. It will keep us aware of God’s love. On the other hand, “Those who take their eyes off their future hope will find that their love for God is slowly evaporating.”[2]

So are you waiting with eager anticipation? How often do you think about Christ’s return (Titus 2:13)? How often do you think of the new heavens and the new earth (Revelation 21:1–4)? How often do you think of eternal life? And how often do you think about the mercy you will receive in light of the judgment that we so richly deserve?

This eternal perspective will keep us aware of God’s love.

Reminding, praying, waiting—this is how we remain aware of God’s love.

Kept

To be honest my grip upon God is sometimes weak. I don’t flawlessly keep myself in the love of God daily. I don’t. My love for Him fluctuates. But while my love for him is uncertain, His love for me is fixed. We keep ourselves in the love of God because God is keeping us in his grasp.

Both at the beginning of this short letter (v. 1) and near the end (v. 24), Jude reminds us that our safety is in the Father’s hold upon us and his preserving grace. As Puritan Richard Sibbes once wrote, “As we say of the mother and the child, both hold, but the safety of the child is at that the mother holds him.”

His grip never weakens.

When I neglect the means that He has given me to keep myself in the love of God, when my grip upon him weakens and my love fluctuates, His grip upon me does not weaken and never changes.

God promises to “keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy” (v. 24). This promise is an enormous assurance for our souls, and especially for those who feel as if their love for God has diminished. Receive this assurance provided from Jude: Our hearts may shift and change but God’s love for you is unchanging. May we keep ourselves aware of God’s unchanging love toward us in the gospel.

Conclusion

If we fail to attend to our hearts, if we fail to attend to our relationship with God, if we fail to obey this gracious command to “keep ourselves in the love of God,” the consequences upon our souls are inevitable. The consequences may not be immediately obvious, but a persisting pattern of neglect will become obvious in time.

So have your affections for the Savior diminished? If so, ask yourself these questions from Jude:

  • Am I preaching the gospel to my own soul each day?
  • Am I praying with any level of consistency?
  • Am I eagerly awaiting Christ’s return and am I longing for heaven?

Article by CJ Mahaney (www.sovereigngraceministries.org)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Hope for our Unsaved

pauls powerful prayer_t_nt

 

Many of us have friends, sons, daughters, wives, and husbands who we struggle to keep hope alive for. They are resistant to the Gospel. Their lives are not only filled with sin, but dominated and controlled by it. Some of the sins they have committed or engaged in are so heinous that their estate can seem hopeless. If that is the case, we need to be reminded that by God’s account it is not hopeless. Though it seems impossible, He majors in the seemingly impossible. As a Christian, we know this. We give voice to it and statements like this easily roll off our lips. But when we are staring it in the face and have seen them fall back into sin again, we can waiver in doubt.

 

How do we remedy this? At least one way is to think about heaven. As I think of heaven, I think of the people who God has readily saved from such entanglements. Have you ever thought about the guest list at the Feast of the Lamb? It is shocking to say the least! Do you realize who will be in heaven? There will be murderers in heaven–the Apostle Paul will be there. There will be thieves in heaven–the thief on the cross will be there. There will be adulterers in heaven–King David will be there. There will be polygamists in heaven–Jacob will be there. There will be liars in heaven–the Apostle Peter will be there. There will be prostitutes in heaven–Rahab will be there. There will be idolaters in heaven–we will be there. Yes, all redeemed. All saved by grace through faith. All standing in the righteousness of Christ. And that is exactly the point. Whatever sin has a hold , no matter what a person has done, or is doing–there will be sinners saved by grace in heaven, who struggled with this same disquieting sin or myriad of sins.

 

Let’s not lose hope for those around us. Let us be Christians who gaze at every sinner with compassion. But even more than that. Let’s strive by grace to be Christians who, at all times and with all people, look upon them with true hope. Hope that God can do a mighty work in their life and draw them unto Himself. You see, He can and He does. Don’t stop praying for your loved ones. Don’t walk past the sinner you think is too far gone. Don’t give up on sharing the Gospel. God can save the worst of sinners–He saved you, He saved me.

 

 

By: Jason Helopoulos

Source: thegospelcoalition.org

Read Full Post »

abortion

The case against Kermit Gosnell may accomplish something good nationally. It may cause our society to recognize the reality of abortion. It may motivate the Church to love and show mercy. It may help those who have participated in abortions or chosen to have an abortion to find hope.

Most people like to think of abortions as merely the end of a pregnancy. This is why they refer to it with euphemisms like choice, healthcare, and equality. This is why many of us hate the graphic posters the sidewalk counselors and abortion protestors force on us.

The last thing we want to have to think about is the reality of abortion–the human beings whose lives are being taken in the name of choice, healthcare, and equality.

The abortion industry fights hard to keep women and society in general in the dark about the reality of abortion. They do not want women to see their babies on an ultrasound screen, because when one sees a beating heart, kicking legs, waving arms, thumb-sucking, and yawning, it tends to burst the bubble of denial.

Abortion advocates do not want women to recognize these babies as their children, a gift from God, and human beings. Instead they use devaluing terms such as products of conception, blobs of tissue, and even, as MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry recently stated, this thing which turns into a human.

If the abortion industry is guilty of wanting to keep society in the dark, society is guilty of wanting to be left in the dark.

We don’t want to know about the severed body parts, the crushed skulls, the tiny lifeless bodies, or the spilt blood. We want to believe abortion simply makes a pregnant woman un-pregnant with something like the wave of a magic wand.

The tragedy of Kermit Gosnell

We don’t want to face the reality about how an abortion makes a woman un-pregnant by killing the person she is carrying. Because of Kermit Gosnell we can’t deny the reality of the violent loss of innocent human life any longer–at least not at the moment.

Severed feet in a jar, cat feces on the stairs, bloody blankets, blood on the floors and the tables. Dirty equipment and the lifeless victims stashed in makeshift containers and stored in random places, including the fridge.

Their bodies bearing the marks of their painful and violent end. This is a story you expect to associate with the atrocities of the holocaust under a maniacal doctor like Joseph Mengele.

The gory details of this case have forced us to deal with the reality of abortion and everyone is shocked. Are we shocked by abortion or the horribly messy way Kermit Gosnell went about abortion?

  • Is it really more shocking a baby is born alive and has it’s neck snipped with scissors and it’s spinal cord severed at the illegal age of 28 weeks than it is that a baby is dismembered while alive in the womb at the legal age of 23 weeks?[1]
  • Is it really more offensive there was a jar full of severed feet than there is medical waste units full of severed limbs?
  • Is it really more nauseating the blood spilt was all over everything instead of nicely contained and wiped up in an approved clinic?

If these Gosnell babies had been violently killed legally while in the womb and in a clean and sterile clinic and disposed of properly, there would be no outcry. Except from the pro-life community.

There is only a six-week difference between the born 30-week old baby Kermit Gosnell illegally murdered and joked about being so big it could walk him to the bus stop and the unborn 24-week old babies he legally aborted.

Kermit Gosnell is being charged with seven counts of first-degree murder for seven babies he is accused of killing illegally, plus one count of third-degree murder for a woman who died in his clinic. What about the thousands of babies he legally killed? Where is the cry for justice for them?

Life dissonance?

Why are we not just as moved by the babies killed in the womb before they’ve had the opportunity to take their first breath, as we are babies born and killed outside the womb while they take their first breaths? Why are we not as heartbroken over babies killed legally as we are for the same babies killed illegally?

There is a disconnect in our society between life in the womb and life out of the womb. This disconnect is false. The difference between a born baby and an unborn baby is nothing more than location.

The baby itself is the same human being and the same human life. Babies in the womb are just as alive and just as much individual human beings as born babies.

Planned Parenthood understands this truth, which is why their representative recently argued how a baby born alive after a failed abortion attempt has no more right to life and no more right to medical care than it did in the womb.

They claim whether the child should live or be purposefully killed even after birth should be determined by the mother and attending physician. This is after-birth abortion or infanticide. This is what Kermit Gosnell did.

What happened at Kermit Gosnell’s House of Horrors as the abortion clinic is now being referred to and what the Planned Parenthood representative argued for is simply the natural progression of the devaluing of human life.

Have we forgotten history so quickly? It wasn’t even 30 years from the end of the Holocaust to Roe V. Wade when the same embers which turned to fire and burned through the country of Germany began smoldering here.

When we devalue any human life, when we strip any group of people of the title human and take from them their right to life, we have devalued all human life. In such cases horrible atrocities will follow.

Speaking through the silence

I am not shocked by what happened in the Gosnell murders. I’m saddened, but not shocked. What continues to shock me is the overwhelming silence of the Church.

The silence of the Body of Christ is far more disturbing than the silence of the mainstream media. If anyone should care about the poor, the orphans, and the desperate, it should be the Body of Christ (James 1:27).

I understand there are many tragedies which need the Church’s attention, love, and mercy, e.g., poverty, slavery, abuse, and disease. We live in a broken, fallen, and sin-riddled world, but there is only one people group who are being legally and systematically killed in our nation?

How do we have any credibility standing against poverty, slavery, or abuse while we remain silent on abortion? We are told in Proverbs 24:10-12 to rescue those being led away to death and to hold back those staggering toward slaughter.

We are reminded if we plead ignorance how He who weighs our hearts will perceive it. He who guards our life will know it. He will repay according to what we have done. If we falter in this time of trouble our strength will be small.

What an opportunity to share in the love and sacrifice of Jesus by laying down our comfort, our material possessions, our time, and our lives for the unborn who are being killed by the millions every year. And also for the mothers who are so desperate and so deceived they would be willing to go a man like Kermit Gosnell.

If we declare ourselves to be pro-life, but have not love for the murdered we are nothing more than sounding gongs and clanging cymbals. Jesus did not just declare His love for us; He took our beating, our shame, our sin, our pain, and picked up a cross and died for us. He entered into our suffering and loved us.

A call to action

Most churches have an abortion clinic or clinics in their communities. What are we doing to be the hands and feet of Christ to those being led away to death and staggering toward slaughter?

I’ve written over 70 books. The book that had the shortest shelf life of all of my books was my book on the case against abortion. I talked to pastor after pastor and sought to understand why they weren’t using this material for which we also made a video series.

They told me, “Well, we agree with it but we can’t do it in our church.” And I said, “Why?” They responded: “It will split the congregation.” And I said, “So be it!” A million and a half unborn babies are slaughtered wantonly in the United States of America every year in the name of women’s rights. If I know anything about the character of God after forty years of study, I know that God hates abortion.” —R.C. Sproul Sr.

There are two dangers here as the details of the Gosnell case surfaces and the conversations begin:

  1. The tragic loss of life which occurred in Gosnell’s House of Horrors will be overshadowed by the messy way those lives were taken. The conversation occurring in our society right now is in danger of becoming more about the importance of sterility and cleanliness while killing unborn babies than about the unborn babies themselves. This could turn into a conversation on how to be tidy and aesthetic in the killing.
  2. The gore and visibility of this case will make clean and hidden abortion less shocking. We could become even more desensitized than we already are to the travesty of abortions after having been exposed to the gruesome nature of Gosnell’s abortions. As long as abortions occur in such a way which we do not have to hear the baby scream or see the blood or be confronted with the lifeless body, we are in danger of feeling good about remaining complacent.

We are uncomfortable with the graphic signs of aborted babies held up outside abortion clinics because no one wants to see a picture of an aborted baby. The reality of abortion is hard to process.

I hope one day we are more offended and heartbroken by the reality of abortion than we are by the picture of abortion. I hope this offense and heart-brokenness will motivate the Body of Christ to love.

If you had an abortion

Unborn babies are not the only ones whose lives are destroyed by abortion. Many women and men have been devastated by a past abortion.

When Pilate released Jesus to the Jews to be crucified, he knew he was releasing an innocent man. He tried to wash the blood of Jesus’ innocent life from his hands with water, but water cannot remove blood-guilt (Matthew 27:24).

Only the shed blood of the innocent One he gave over to be killed, the God-man–Jesus Christ, can remove our stains and wash us whiter than snow (Isaiah 1:18).

If you repent of your abortion or your participation in an abortion and humbly come to God through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ, you will be forgiven and cleansed. God has promised this to you (1 John 1:9).

No one who comes to God through His Son will be under the wrath of God for sin. Instead they will be under His mercy because Jesus bore the Father’s wrath (Romans 3:24-26).

No one, including Kermit Gosnell is beyond the grace of God if they turn to Jesus Christ. Lets not forget Paul was once Saul (Acts 9). And let me not forget how desperately wicked my own heart is outside of God’s grace.

As we talk about the Gosnell case, lets take the opportunity to speak words of life–the Gospel message, to those suffering from a past abortion or living under the guilt of having participated in abortions. Check out Set Free the Film for more on forgiveness after abortion. (See Romans 8:10, 8:38-39.)

As a society we may want to think about abortion as merely the end of a pregnancy. As the Church we may want to push it to the outer limits of our minds.

Abortion is in our own communities even in our church buildings and it isn’t just the end of pregnancy. It is the end of life for roughly 3,000 innocent human beings every day in the U.S., roughly 1.2 million innocent human beings every year.

As William Wilberforce once said, “we can choose to look the other way,” but thanks to cases like Kermit Gosnell’s, “we can never say again we didn’t know.”

 

Written by Marcella Franseen (via www.rickthomas.net)

Marcella Franseen

Marcella has served as a pro-life center volunteer, Center Director, and currently as a facilitator for a post-abortion Bible study called “Forgiven and Set Free.”

She’s passionate about the sanctity of life from conception to the grave and equally as passionate about the grace of God, through Jesus Christ, for those who have chosen abortion or are involved in the industry.

 

Read Full Post »

Happy Dave

David_Yuenger_860_1365298160I must admit to the difficulty of the task before me. To say in a matter of minutes what I know of my grandfather, of what he meant to me, seems beyond my ability.

So I’ll start simple, with a name. I called him Happy Dave. I have done so nearly as long as I can remember.  Where did the name come from? First from a song. I remember hearing the theme song to the old show “Happy Days.” I heard my grandfather called “Dave.” To my untrained ear it was a fun shift in pronunciation. But that wasn’t all to the name. Otherwise it wouldn’t have stuck, wouldn’t have been copied by others. It caught a truth. A deep truth about the man. The Happy in Happy Dave referred most of all to laughter. That he loved to laugh and to make other people laugh.

 

My grandfather was a master comic and magnificent story-teller. He loved an audience. He loved to perform. He could tell jokes or stories a million times and we would love them, laugh at them every time. Some aren’t even that funny if others try to tell them. But not when he did.

 

To give a glimpse into his humor, here are a few great jokes. He would stand in front of the mirror and yell across the upstairs to my grandmother, saying, “Faye, we need to get more mirrors in this house so I can look at myself!”

 

One time, my father was over at their house talking to my grandfather. My grandmother said something to Happy Dave from upstairs, to which he replied, “Yes, Honey.” My grandmother said, “David, don’t you act like that. You were so mean to me earlier. Tell Rick the mean things you said to me!” My grandfather turned to my father and said, “It’s our second honeymoon.”

 

Finally, Happy Dave once told my father, “Rick, when the rapture happens, you can have my house.”

 

His stories also made me laugh. Whereas the jokes hit the point immediately, the stories were comedic epics. Sometimes the punch line didn’t come until the end (though we knew nearly all of them already, so we laughed the entire build up in anticipation). Sometimes they contained a string of reasons to laugh. Always, a bit of embellishment would come, usually at the end to make the silly cross the line to ridiculous. In them all, my grandfather kept a rapt audience, moving effortlessly, with perfect timing, voice intonation, everything.

 

That is why one of my favorite films is Big Fish. The father tells stories, wonderful stories. He communicates through them, connects to his son by them. Does he embellish? Sure, yet he reveals something of the soul, not only his own but of the human soul. Those stories are enduring gifts in the film. His were and are gifts to me.

 

Also, to know him was to know his love for all things Ohio State. This passion bordered on infatuation. We received the Buckeye Bulletin, we had Buckeye cup holders, Buckeye Christmas stockings, Buckeye Christmas trees, blankets, pajama pants. If his medication could have been stamped with Go Bucks he would have gotten them.

 

I loved how before a big game he would analyze it to us, taking the tone of an objective, disinterested observer. He’d go over several points. Iowa has a good Quarterback,  an ok defense, etc. And then, he would conclude, wait for it, that the Buckeyes would win. Never did he ever predict a loss. If the ’72 Dolphins in all their undefeated Super Bowl winning glory played the 6-6 team of 2000, he would have had the Bucks eek out an overtime thriller.

 

I have been asked why do I love OSU, Cincinnati Reds, etc. Sure, they are local teams. One often loves one’s own geographically. There are certain intrinsic virtues to them as well. But I love these teams, in part, because he loved them. I remember my grandmother crying when Ohio State made the Final Four in 1999, saying through her tears, “I’m so proud of those boys.” In loving what he loved, what they loved, I feel a deep connection with them. We experienced their triumphs and tragedies together, as a common identity, a common community. As that which we shared remains, so my connection to it is intertwined with my love for him. When I continue to wear my Reds or Buckeye hat or shirt, dance at wins, rage in losses, I touch a part of him, of who he was and what we shared.

 

And we shared so much. Not just in what we loved. We shared much because he was so generous.  He and my grandmother gave so much of their time, money, of their love. It was overwhelming love and generosity.

 

There did come a point when some forms of generosity could no longer come, when physically he, along with my grandmother, needed to be cared for. I saw him one last time, a month ago. It was a tremendous grace to spend those precious two days and nights with him. He kept me awake all hours of the night to get him food or a drink or something else he needed/wanted.

 

But that was only two nights. My mother, his daughter, has been caring for first both my grandparents, and then just Happy Dave, for years. It has been the most demanding of jobs, consuming her time, testing her endurance, her patience. Taking care of my grandparents has called on her to give everything. I know it wasn’t easy. They could be demanding to care for. He could be very hard to deal with very often. But she was ever faithful to them, served them, honored them, sacrificed for them. She was a picture of Christ’s love, loving even when it was inconvenient, hard, downright near impossible. She can’t get enough credit for it.

 

Thus, there is great joy in remembering his life. But also sadness. I want him to be here to tell those stories, make those jokes. I don’t want them to suffer the withering of memory in our faint re-telling. I wanted him to be here for an Ohio State national championship, to feel renewed that common joy that erupted one January, 2003, night. I wanted him to see me finally finish school, and maybe understand why I was there so long. I wanted him to see a great-grandchild and for that child to know how deeply this man is a part of who his father is and wants to be.

 

But that won’t happen. How can the rest be comforting and not mere mechanisms to cope? The night I knew he was passing, I turned to the story of Lazarus in John’s Gospel. Therein I saw a parallel I never had before. Lazarus, a friend of Jesus, is dead, has been for days. Jesus tells Martha “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26). Christ promises an amazing thing. This world is full of disaster, disease, mental illness, emotional anguish, murder, racism, grinding poverty, all cap-stoned by death, by burying those you love and being buried by them, if you even get that solace. But in resurrection, Christ promises healing, comfort, restoration of all that was shattered, sick and dead. It means many of us who long for physical comfort and emotional peace and lasting acceptance and love are pursued by Him, called by him, washed, healed, made alive.  He promises this creation of loving community with himself and others, and his own resurrection from the dead is the first fruits, a vindication of what he promises he will do and is doing for His people, those he brings to himself.

 

But Christ then does something extraordinary. After declaring himself the God who will conquer death and all its destruction, he sees Mary Lazarus’s other sister crying, and when he is shown where Lazarus lay, he does not celebrate the triumph he already declared. He weeps. He weeps.

 

Why? First, because he knows our suffering. Not just intellectually or as the creator God who knows all things. The majesty of the incarnation includes God aligning with the hurting, the broken, the sick at heart, with all suffering in its many forms. He knows it because he felt it as a human being.

 

Second, Christ has promised wonderful gifts in his resurrection. We see beautiful glimpses of them right now in the Holy Spirit giving us a heart to love God and others as we ought and in the Church acting upon that love for those in need. But the promise, while secure, is only partially fulfilled. Suffering remains. Losing grandfathers, mothers, sons, sisters, friends, and spouses still happens. A tender mercy to me is that Christ does not take that lightly, does not pass over it in looking toward the wonderful healing that is to come. He wept along with us.

 

So, my comfort now is two-fold. It is in the weeping God who identifies with our sorrow now. And it is with the restoring, healing, God whose work secured on a cross, glimpsed gloriously in his own resurrection, will be complete one day. As it says in Revelation, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man… He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Rev. 21:3-5).

 

The suffering God is sovereignly making all things new, renewing our world, not destroying it, unmaking the heartbreak, the sadness, the tears of mourning. That is my hope. That was my grandfather’s. It, more than stories, more than sports, more than blood, is a common love that unites us here and forever. We are united in Christ and together have in part, and will in whole, partake of the joy that is the former things passing away, that is Christ making all things new. Amen.

 

By: Adam Carrington

Read Full Post »

genesis

In the context, the word day in Genesis 1 refers to six 24-hour days. Every time it appears with “evening and morning” or with a number like “sixth day,” it refers to a 24-hour day.

Did God create the whole universe, including the original plants, animals, and first two people (Adam and Eve) in six literal 24-hour days? Or did creation take place over millions of years?

To answer that, we should remember that the original readers of Genesis were not scientists or Hebrew scholars. Rather, they were former slaves—mostly uneducated— on their way to the Promised Land. The fathers were commanded to teach their children (Deuteronomy 6:1–7), so the Hebrew language in Genesis 1 must have been very clear to the common people, even to children.

When we look carefully at Genesis 1, in Hebrew or even in English, it is clear that God created everything in six literal (24-hour) days. First, we are told that He created the earth in darkness and then created light. Then He called the light “day” and He called the darkness “night.” And then He said (in the original Hebrew) “and [there] was evening and [there] was morning, one day.” He repeated the same statement at the end of the second day through the sixth day.

“So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31

Everywhere else in the Old Testament, when the Hebrew word for “day” (םיוֹ, yom) appears with “evening” or “morning” or is modified by a number (e.g., “sixth day” or “five days”), it always means a 24-hour day.

On Day Four God further showed that these were literal days by telling us the purpose for which He created the sun, moon, and stars—so we could tell time: literal years, literal seasons, and literal days.

Then in Exodus 20:8–11 God commanded the Israelites to work six literal “days” and rest on the seventh because He created in six “days” (using the same Hebrew word).

Furthermore, Jesus and the New Testament apostles read Genesis 1–11 as straightforward historical narrative. There are additional good scholarly reasons for coming to that conclusion.

There is no biblical or scientific reason to be ashamed of believing in a recent six-day creation. God has spoken clearly and truthfully. Will you trust His Word over the arrogant claims of sinful men?

Source: Dr. Terry Mortenson is a well-known speaker and writer for Answers in Genesis–USA. He earned his doctorate in the history of geology from Coventry University in England, and he ministered with Campus Crusade for Christ for 26 years. He also received his masters of divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v5/n2/six-literal-days

Read Full Post »

Tripp

It’s been 48 hours since that celebratory worship service. It’s been 48 hours since the proclamation of God’s Word. It’s been 48 hours since we gathered to reaffirm the most significant part of our faith. So I want to ask you today – what will you do with Easter?

What will you do with Easter when a particular area of sin looks attractive to you and you feel weak and unable? What will you do with Easter when you’ve been betrayed by someone and thoughts of vengeance enter your head? What will you do with Easter when you’re struggling in your marriage and it seems impossible for you to love one another as God has designed for you to love?

What will you do with Easter when you’re facing another situation with a rebellious child and you feel like you have nothing left? What will you do with Easter when you lay in your bed tonight, wondering how you will face tomorrow? What will you do with Easter when Easter is gone?

If you like to highlight verses and make notes in your Bible, grab it and turn to John 11:23-26. Or you can just read the passage below:

“Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’”

Martha makes a beautiful confession of faith in verse 24 by saying she believes that Lazarus will be resurrected on the last day. It’s absolutely true. It’s good theology. So when Jesus asks her if she believes, he isn’t questioning the soundness of her theology.

Instead, Jesus is asking this question. It’s a question directed towards us today, 48 hours after Easter. Do you believe that you have met the giver of life? Do you believe that Jesus dwells within you and his resurrection power bubbles inside of you?

God wants to do more in us than just have us make a theological confession of the resurrection. He wants more for us than to only recognize the historical fact of this event. He wants us to do more than just celebrate on Sunday. Oh, these are all essential things, but they’re means to this end – that we would live in resurrection faith.

There are few verses in Scripture that can summarize resurrection faith better than Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

You no longer live, but Christ lives in you! It’s not just you against that particular area of enticing sin. It’s not just you when you’ve been betrayed by someone and thoughts of vengeance enter your head. It’s not just you when you’re struggling in your marriage and it seems impossible for you to love your spouse.

It’s not just you when you’re facing another situation with a rebellious child and you feel like you have nothing left. It’s not just you when you lay in your bed at night, wondering how you will face the next day. It’s never just you anymore, because the resurrected King Christ lives inside of you, and His resurrection power is available to you.

Do you live in resurrection faith? Do you believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and that those who believe in him will live, both now and forever? Don’t wait for Easter next year to celebrate the resurrection. You can start living out of the resurrection power today – right here, right now – in the place where God has called you to live.

Source: Paul Tripp

Read Full Post »