Vengeance

Societies are governed by powers ordained by God.. “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.” (Rom.13:1-2)

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The Love of God

In the letter to the Romans, after he had documented his own struggle with sin, Paul proclaimed, “O wretched man that I am!  Who will deliver me from this body of death?”  In the 38th Psalm David wrote, “For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.”  In the 40th Psalm, “For innumerable evils have surrounded me; My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; They are more than the hairs of my head; Therefore my heart fails me.” Peter told Christ in Luke 5:8, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” Paul, David and Peter- These are all men that could be described as men of faith.  They were men who followed the Lord, who did His works, who kept the faith and all three lamented of their sin.  Paul called himself a wretched man.  David proclaimed that his iniquities numbered beyond the number of hairs on his head.   Peter described himself as a sinful man.

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Saved?

Saved?  Are you sure? In a world with so much change and instability, it’s sometimes difficult to have confidence in anything.  Even in spiritual matters, our faith often fails to provide us with any real confidence in our eternity.   The promise of salvation is certain and secure, but are you sure you’re saved?  If you’re not sure, why not?  If you are, how do you know?

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The End

After death man has no more portion of the things done on this earth. No more will the dead receive the rewards of the living. No more will they know or feel the emotions of man. Ecclesiastes 5:15 (also see Job 1:21) tells us, “As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.” Man came with nothing. Man shall leave with nothing this world provides him.

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Power Under Grace

The word “grace” appears 18 times in the Old Testament.  It appears 125 times in the New Testament.  A striking change.  What accounts for this?  The apostles tell us.  John said that “the law was given through Moses, but grace…came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).  Paul declared that Christians are “not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14, 15). 

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He Touched Me. . . What??!!

I thought it was a divine revelation, a visitation from the Holy Spirit. A skeptic challenged me and a long conversation ensued. I found myself saying things I had never put into words and a rapid shift in perception occurred. I had this certainty, the Lord was moving me to a higher plane. It seemed to have been from the Lord. . . until I started reading the Bible and found out differently. 

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Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the most misunderstood member of the godhead. Speaking from personal experience, I believe a poll of the religious community would yield a variety of answers concerning the Spirit's identity, role, and presence. I know people who strongly assert that God's Spirit does not dwell in Christians at all except through the implanting of His word.

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Let all things be done for edification

1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”

Let all things be done for edification. The word “edification” is a word that is not used very often. In fact, I would venture to say that many people are unfamiliar with the word. It is not commonly used and therefore it is not commonly understood.

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A True Worshiper

  Too often I hear complaints such as “I don’t get anything out of the service”, “the church’s worship doesn’t inspire me” or “church is boring”. I wish I could say that I don’t relate to these complaints, but the fact is I do. I’ve felt those same things before and the only conclusion I could draw to fix the problem was that something needed to change.

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The Unknown God

The Apostle Paul began his stirring speech to the idolatrous people of Athens with this preface: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you…” (Acts 17:22-23)  

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The Sin of Uzzah: Wrong with Good Intentions

In II Samuel 6 David makes preparations to bring the Ark back from Baale Judah to the Temple, where it belonged. David, accompanied by thirty thousand men, went down to the house of Abinadab and set the Ark on a new cart to transport it. Steering the Ox cart were two men, Uzzah and Ahio (the sons of Abinadab). Ahio went in front of the Ark, and Uzzah followed behind the Ark. This large procession sang and danced, joyfully carrying the Ark back to its proper place. However, along the way (at Nachon's threshing floor), the oxen stumbled. In an attempt to steady the Ark and make sure it would not fall, Uzzah reached out and put his hand on the Ark. Immediately God's anger was aroused against Uzzah and God struck him dead.

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God vs. Sin & Suffering

Concerning the co-existence of an all-powerful, loving, and good God with worldwide wickedness, the ancient philosopher Epicurus once mused: “Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or He can, but does not want to; or He cannot and does not want to.  If He wants to, but cannot, He is impotent. If He can, and does not want to, He is wicked.  But, if God both can and wants to abolish evil, then how comes evil in the world?” (Strobel, p. 25).

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Can’t See the Forest. . .

Anyone who professes Jesus Christ as their Savior would say that He is the authority for their lives. We would say His wisdom is greater than our wisdom, and our understanding must come from Him. Many similar conclusions spin off from this essential conviction that Jesus Christ is Lord. Then comes the rub. We either humbly submit to His authority, or we fabricate an image of Jesus that fits the way we want Him to be.

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Symbols

This is a subject that has been on my mind for some time. I decided to use this forum to vet my thoughts. Frankly I am conflicted, occasionally I wonder how far to take this and I am hoping to get your opinions on the subject. Symbols play an important role in our lives. A symbol can be anything from McDonalds golden arches to the American flag. Symbols are an important part of God's communication to us. 

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The Pastor

Jesus Christ is the head of the body, the church.  Paul declares Jesus, "...the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen. "  (1 Timothy 6:15-16)

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Unity

The United States of America. Being so far removed from the founding generation of this country makes it difficult to truly appreciate the word united in the title of our nation. Prior to the revolutionary war the states could be more likened to independent nations. A man living in America at the time referring to his fellow countryman would likely be referring to his fellow Virginian or his fellow Pennsylvanian. Rarely would a man refer to their fellow American- it was a foreign thought.

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