“And I will put My Spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws” (Ezekiel 36:27 NIV).
It is a problem to get humans to do what God wants without outright forcing us. Imagine God creating humans with the divine capacity to choose righteousness or refuse it. He didn’t have to create us that way, but He preferred to do so. God makes no mistakes. Whenever anything goes wrong, like us choosing not to do what He wants, He already knew that would happen. If God’s happiness is having us do what He wants without being forced — then, we want to make God happy. It appears that God’s Spirit living and dwelling in us is the secret to moving us not merely to want but actually to do what God wants (see Ezekiel 36:27).
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived — the things God has prepared for those who love Him” (1Corinthians 2:9 NIV).
For nearly 2,000 years the religion of Christ has striven for acceptance in the world. It has succeeded in integrating itself into the world, but it has also produced an effect of focusing upon the natural process and order of things — understandably, since God is both the originator, as well as, the continuous providential director of all things (Acts 17:28). Though all things concerning our natural existence are far from being answered, we have lost touch with the supernaturalness of our circumstances. God gave the earth to humankind for our benefit and blessing, that we might have “dominion [Hebrew, radah, rule]” over “all the earth” (Genesis 1:26 KJV). Jehovah, the Everlasting God, “walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8 NIV), with our Original Parents, not only communed with Adam and Eve, but directed them to extend the influence of His Divine Council beyond the Garden of Eden to the uttermost parts of the earth. It was His Divine Council because we know that even in the creation of man, God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26 NIV). “God [Hebrew, elohim, singular] has taken His place in the Divine Council; in the midst of the gods [Hebrew, elohim, plural] He holds judgment” (Psalm 82:1 ESV).
“Sanctify them by the Truth; Your Word is Truth” (John 17:17 NIV).
Things do not change suddenly, until they do. Growing up becomes growing older. Only God can say, “I the Lord do not change” (Malachi 3:6 NIV). For many things, what was once a necessity to know is no longer so. Surviving, coping, and prospering may no longer require navigating by the stars, reading the signs for a trail, or starting a fire without matches, but navigating the internet, responding to an email or text, purchasing online, or remembering where you filed something on your laptop may now be just as crucial. And, before I forget, I’d like to share with you.
Seven Basic Concepts About Scripture
“Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1 NIV).
Would it surprise us to find that the Apostle Paul’s statement from nearly 2,000 years ago was an emancipation declaration that changed the lives of not only his first century readers, but broke the chains of addiction, servitude, and bondage of untold numbers of readers since then? Is Paul trivializing the magnitude of pain and suffering holding us today? Or, are we reading these statements of Scripture with a hardness of heart and unbelief befitting those further away from the first coming of Christ and nearer still to the second coming of Christ? “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8 NIV). Is the diabolical genius of the wicked one, simply to desensitize us to the plain meaning of the words of God, hardening us from receiving their simple truth, and barring the work of the Holy Spirit from allowing His straightforward message from having its clearly stated fulfillment in our lives? “When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path” (Matthew 13:19 NIV). If you have the slightest inclination to seek understanding of what the Scripture is saying to you, then the Holy Spirit is still striving to teach you. “2 Turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding — 3 indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:2-6 NIV).
“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13 KJV).
The natural tendency of anyone liberated from the necessity of keeping a list of rules to get to heaven is the extreme of “I have the right to do anything” without regard to anyone. When I was a much younger man registering to vote for the first time, I remember listening to a congressman’s campaign speech explaining the limitations of our rights as citizens. He said, “My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins.” In other words, the militancy of demanding our rights — always a popular theme both from the pulpit and the public platform — must take into account something more than ourselves — namely, our neighbor. Jesus addressed this very concept with an expert in the OT Jewish Law, who asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25 NIV). Jesus asked him to respond to his own question. The expert said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself” (10:27 NIV). “You have answered correctly, Jesus replied. Do this and you will live” (10:28 NIV), in other words, you will “inherit eternal life” (10:25 NIV). But, as the all knowing Messiah, Jesus knew the OT mindset of His interrogator. He knew no one would actually keep the Law by force of will by their own choosing. And, this not even accounting for the need for forgiveness for our untold failures of not keeping that Law. Unsurprisingly, Jesus’ attacker “wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29 NIV). The Parable of the Good Samaritan was Jesus’ response. A traveler on his way to Jerusalem was attacked, stripped, beaten, and left “half dead” (10:30 NIV). A priest, and later, a Levite simply “passed by on the other side” of the road (10:31,32 NIV). But, a Samaritan, who was despised by the Jews, “took pity on him” (10:33 NIV) and “took care of him” (10:34 NIV). Remember, Samaritans traditionally returned that hatred to the Jews. Jesus asked, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” (10:36 NIV). The expert correctly replied, “The one who had mercy on him” (10:37 NIV), to which Jesus responded, “Go and do likewise” (10:37 NIV). Jesus was saying, “You say you ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ (Leviticus 19:18 NIV), but you really only ‘love those who love you’ (Luke 6:32 NIV), and not this Samaritan. This expert in the OT Law was being reminded of our unending necessity to love our neighbor.
First, at the beginning of the creation of a material universe (“heavens and earth”) in Genesis 1:1, God possibly used the mechanism of a black hole to hold in all matter in a singularity with the greatest force of gravity to cause biblical time to measure in terms of earth centric 24 hour days.
Why Would a Young Earth Creationist Promote a Better Appreciation of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity (GR)?
The actual review is at the end of this article, which I precede with some explanatory remarks.
I survived my college introductory course in calculus, but I had the practical sense to later be steered toward the humanities and social sciences. I furnished too little inspiration and understanding to fully appreciate the rigors of dy, dx. My acceptance of the Genesis account of creation meant I had to reconcile six literal days of creation with the fact that light from Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system to earth, would take 4.35 light years to arrive to earth. If God really “made the stars” (Genesis 1:16 NIV) on the fourth literal day of creation, how could Alpha Centauri be visible from earth so soon? I reasoned, if Adam was created with the mature form of an adult, then God could produce a universe with the mature appearance of light from the stars. I can now better understand an astronomer’s disdain for my reasoning.
When I was a senior in high school, my teacher prepared us to participate in a debate. In his collegiate days, he was on a debate team from the University of Redlands that won a competition against the USAF Academy on the topic, “How to lie with statistics.” In the face of facts and figures, we all face the difficulty of determining what we can believe, and ultimately, who can you trust? Who can we trust, if everyone has their own agenda? For your consideration, I would propose, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8 KJV).
A Promise for Giving Tithes, Offerings, and Contributions
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38 NIV).
Brief Comments on Isaiah 54:1-17
Especially Addressing “Why Are We Still Here?”
“The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray” (1Peter 4:7 NIV).
1- Why are we still here?
The world is still here ONLY because God still continues to hold all things together.
“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17 NIV).