New Testament

As I told you guys earlier I had started listening to an audio Bible while driving and working.  Now, I have listened to the entire New Testament and decided to start again with Matthew and go through it all one more time. Honestly, I remember something new each time I read or hear any part of the the Word of God. I figure to listen to the entire New Testament once more and then I may start are the Old Testament.

The first time I listened it was out of order, but for some reason it made sense to me. I also included the book of Daniel in with my listening. This time I figure got straight through and make notes when possible. My goal is to retain as much of  God’s Word as possible, or at least get a generalized idea where particular themes are located. (I get agitated when trying to discuss with someone and can’t remember where I read or heard something.)

Anyway, my request is this, please say a prayer that I can learn more and use it to further the kingdom of God to more people. My ultimate goal is to try and show people the wonderful gifts that God offers, not just in the world to come, but the world we live in now. God bless!!

 

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Where’s Your Proof?

In previous blog I had, several people and I got into a discussion about the proof of God. Somehow an irate person had discovered the conversation and was really trying to stir things up. This person was attacking nearly every comment the rest of the participants of the discussions and was demanding that we provide them with iron clad proof that there is a God. Eventually,  we asked the person to feel free to believe what they wanted and we would continue with our faith. Problem solved, right? Wrong! This person began cussing and accusing us of dodging the questions and became fairly amusing at one point.

Eventually, they began demanding our proof again.  So, now wanting to be rude, I simply asked them for their proof there is no God. Their response was that they knew and didn’t need proof. Really? Christians must have proof, but non-believers don’t? But, I wasn’t going to even go there, this was  someone who was just looking for a fight. Their next attack was to talk about how much they hated God anything to do with Him or Jesus. I tried to be nice, but this person was just trying to push every button they could.

Finally, I decided to take this ‘logic-driven’ (their claim, not mine) and call them out for a few things. The biggest things was the fact that they had such a disdain for ‘imaginary’ characters. How can you hate something you don’t think exists? So, I asked them and they said they it was their choice what they could hate or not. (Isn’t it everyone’s choice what they believe or don’t believe.) This lead to me making the observation that they did in fact believed in God they just hate Him. After a few snarky comments this person just stopped. I guess when they realized that their logic wasn’t so logical after all.

Some people just like to argue for the sake of arguing. Before trying to attack someone else, maybe they would be better to take a look at themselves.

Memorial Dinner

Today we are having a midday church service followed by a memorial dinner in the out building of our church. Today has meaning for me because so many that have attended this dinner during the years have gone on to be with the God. People we love and still miss being here. Two people that I think of immediately are my mother-in-law and my aunt. It was at this dinner a few years ago I caught them in the parking lot talking and snapped a photo of them.

Sadly, it would be the last photo I ever took of either one of them. My mother-in-law passed away less than two weeks later, and my aunt passed away a little over a year later. We all have these types of stories that we can share. When we lose family that are saved we need to look at it as a positive thing for them. They no longer are suffering and their reward has begun. The flesh side of our thinking causes us to look at it as a sad thing, we should grieve for those who are gone.

It brings to mind the story of King David and his punishment for the affair he had with Bathsheba. Samuel told David that the child that came from the affair would die. While the child was living David did all he could to grieve and try to intercede to God. Once the child died he got up and went about living his normal routine. The people asked him why and he said when the child was alive I attempted to change once the child was gone there was nothing I could do.

To me this shows an understanding of the way things are meant to be. Human interaction is for those people who are a part of the relationship. When one human passes on there is nothing more that the one left behind can do. This doesn’t make it any easier for some, but it is the way things are.

Knowledge vs. Wisdom

Since I have been listening to my audio Bible I am discovering more and more information about the Word of God. I believe that it is a good experience for me to listening to the various books. I went out of order when listening to the various books, but my goal is to eventually listening through the entire New Testament and then the Old Testament.

The reason for this post is that with the wisdom I am gaining from the Word of God, it made me realize that the knowledge of the world just can’t measure up. I believe that wisdom is the application of the information that we can learn from the Bible. I look at it like a distinction between knowing how to do something and actually doing something. One common theme I have discovered is that it’s one thing to know what the Bible says, but it is so much more to apply the wisdom we gain.

It is wisdom that leads to the application of knowledge in our daily lives. Just knowing something doesn’t mean that we apply it.

Peter, Paul, and Disagreement with Others

2 Peter 3:14-18  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.  (15)  And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;  (16)  As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.  (17)  Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.  (18)  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Recently, I posted about Paul and the books of Acts. I am not perfect and God knows I depend on Him greatly. My post obviously offended some people that hold to the belief that Paul was a “self-appointed” apostle. He was referred to as a Pharisees and false prophet. I don’t agree with these statements. I believe that all of the New Testament is the inspired Word of God. This means that the epistles of Paul contain information that we can use to further our relationship with God.

The interesting part of the comments was that Peter was considered to be a true apostle and the original 11 were picked by Jesus. This is true, but Jesus also personally converted Paul and unlike the original 12 Paul was struck blind until he obeyed. Does this make Paul more important than the others? Of course not, I believe it speaks to the conviction in Paul’s heart and the fact that he was a dedicated Pharisee. Just as so many Pharisees persecuted Jesus, Paul picked up the mantle and persecuted those followers who remained on earth.

My point is this: Jesus called the original 12 while still human. The replacement for Judas was pick through the casting of lots. Jesus personally converted Paul on the road to Damascus. All these leaders of the early church were flawed men. There were mistakes made by them and the grace of God delivered them when things were handled wrong.  Only 1 man ever lived a sinless life and he was the Son of God, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Scripture at the beginning of this post is an epistle of Peter where he is affirming the validity of Paul and his epistles. This affirmation shows us that Paul is not a false prophet and that he and the original 11 were acquainted with each other’s ministries.

Please continue to pray for me that everything I do will be for the Glory of God and that I can serve others as Jesus wants me to.

Defending Your Faith

You know there are a lot of people who feel the need to defend their faith to non-believers. Personally, I think that if we get to the point where we need to defend our faith, maybe we need to take a look at ourselves. If someone chooses to not believe that is their right, but I also have a right to believe and don’t need to justify it to others. The Bible teaches us that faith is a means of justification, so I think this means that faith is already justified. God knows my heart and He will be my final judge.

Christians need to be strong to their faith. We must be willing to share our faith with those who are curious and try not to force it on those who are not. Jesus told the disciples to share the Gospel to those that are willing, but simply shake the dust off their feet of those who rejected them. In other words, share the faith with those who want it and simply leave those who reject it be.

Hezekiah

At church last night, the preacher got to talking about Hezekiah and how he was told to get his house in order because he was going to die. This saddened Hezekiah and he turn to the wall and began to talk to God. Because of his effort God granted him 15 more years of life. The preacher said that God had changed his mind. I look at the situation just a little differently. I believe that God already knows how things are going to go as far as the end of the world. I also believe that God allows man to make choice that will lead to different circumstances based on those choices.

By this belief, it isn’t God changing His mind, but God going with the alternative choice that He already had in place. God knows how all things are going to end before they do. This means that when in the Bible judgment was made against people for their actions, God always had an alternative reaction in place if the person or persons became truly repentant.

With God all things are possible, but there are some decisions that God makes that are beyond man’s ability to understand. Just as the events that are foretold in Revelation are going to happen, there is not a definitive date given to when these events will take place. God’s concept of time, number, patterns, and reasoning is so far above the smartest of all men that we will not be able to comprehend things until we make it to heaven.