Revolutionary Declarations

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Romans 13:1-2Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. (NIV 1984)

In Congress, July 4, 1776 – The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, Continue reading “Revolutionary Declarations”

Encouraging Words

Memorial Day

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words. (NIV 1984)

My Musings – Memorial Day, is primarily Continue reading “Encouraging Words”

Onward Christian Soldiers

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Ephesians 6:12-14 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark-world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms, Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, (NIV 1978)

Preparing To Do Battle

  • Why is it important to know our enemy (“not against flesh and blood“) when choosing our weapons?
  • What is so important about using all (“full”) the armor?
  • Are there instances where it is all right to give a little ground (i.e.  to not “stand your ground”) in order to make greater gains in the long run? Why (or why not)?
  • What happens when we go into battle with the wrong weapons (don’t take a knife to a gunfight and don’t fight spiritual battles with worldly weapons)?

Suiting Up

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All Dressed Up But Not Ready To Fight. Unless . . .

Ephesians 6:8 –  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (NIV 1984)

  • What role does praying “in the Spirit” play? Why isn’t the “full armor” complete without it?
  • We have on the full armor. Our prayer life is dynamic. What happens if we are not “alert“?

Follow The Battle Plan

  • God is our ultimate power source (“be strong in the Lord”).
  • We need to be in full armor.
  • Willingly giving ground is not an option.
  • Prayer is vital to our preparedness.
  • If we are not alert, all our preparations will be compromised.
  • Don’t let the heat of the battle cause us to lose sight of why we are fighting in the first place.

 

 

Dealing With The Spider

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Micah 4:2-4 – He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths. The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken. (NIV 1978)

My Musing – This is a picture of a tee shirt that was shared by a friend on Facebook following the tragedy in Parkland, Florida this past week.  It did not go without comment by another friend, which suggested a somewhat opposing view.  I typically shy away from commenting on issues that can be socially or politically charged, especially on social media, because they generally do not change anyone’s mind and often result in merely fanning the flames.  I also value the friendship of both.  Nevertheless, here are my two cents worth. Continue reading “Dealing With The Spider”

Clothed With Compassion

Screenshot (61)Compassion – Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion. (Colossians NIV 1978)

The Sympathetic Consciousness Of Another’s Distress … 

Sympathy is sharing the feelings of others, being affected by what affects others.  In all their distress he too was distressed…In His love and mercy He redeemed them up and carried them…. (Isaiah 63:9, NIV 1978)

Together With A Desire To Alleviate It …

Desire stresses the strength of feeling and often implies a strong intention, longing or aim.  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. (Matthew 23:37, NIV 1978)

That Results In Action …

Action is bringing about alteration (i.e., doing something about it).  Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? (James 2:15, 16, NIV 1978).

As An Expression Of Love …

Love is unfailing – constant, infallible.  Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:10, NIV 1978)

That Can Change Lives!

Used in the Gospels to speak of Jesus’ having compassion on someone in need that was often the turning point in their life.  Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him. (Matthew 20:34, NIV 1978).

My Musing – Having become conscious of another’s distress, does this lead to sympathy?  Does sympathy, in turn progress to a desire to alleviate that distress if we could? Does our desire spring into action with the things we can and should do to help out?  Are we motivated by love or duty?

Having been the recipients of God’s unfailing compassion, how can we possibly fail to show compassion to those around us who are in distress?  Who knows, it could be a turning point in their lives that leads them to or back to God.

 

 

 

 

 

Towards A Great Awakening

Screenshot (61)2 Chronicles 7:14If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (NIV 1978)

Recipe for Revival – A revival is a period of renewed religious attention, interest and popularity. The word revival infers that something is dead or dying. Religious or Christian revival presupposes that the Church and its environment are in desperate need of a fresh breath of God’s Spirit to awaken it from its slumber.

  • If – Indicates that something must happen before another thing can happen. that something is not certain. It could happen or not happen.
  • My people, called by My Name – People that God has taken to Himself as a possession and having dominion over.  The people who are responsible for carrying out the Great Commission.
  • Will humble themselves – Not proud, haughty, arrogant or assertive. Reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission. Unpretentious.
  • Pray – To speak to God especially in order to give thanks, to ask for something or repent.
  • Seek My Face – To go in search of, to look for, to try to discover.
  • Turn – To cause (something) to face an opposite or different direction.
  • From Wicked Ways – Morally that which is very bad or evil.

The Results Are Extraordinary

  • God will hear.
  • God will forgive.
  • God will heal.

My Musing – It would seem that the cure of society’s ills is dependent (if) upon the revival (humble, pray, seek, turn) of the Church (people called by HIs name).

My Advice – I am reminded of a verse from a song that was popular in my youth.  “it only takes a spark, to get a fire going.  And soon all in its reach, are warmed up by its glowing.”   The Church body has many members.  Individually, we can all be that spark of revival, that spreads to the whole body.  Then soon, all those in our reach (the “society” we like to blame for the condition of the world), can be warmed up by our glowing.  Jesus told us we were the light of the world.  Let’s start shining brighter and drive away the darkness.

Destinations Require a Journey

Destinations Require A Journey

My Musing – I suppose we all had a destination in mind when we began adulthood. But less frequently do we consider what kind of journey might be required to get us there.  Take marriage for instance.  When we say for better or worse we think only of the better, giving little thought of the worse parts of the journey that may be required to get us to the better.  Or for richer or poorer, of course we may have to go through some lean times in the beginning of the journey, but we have our eyes fixed on the ultimate richer.  And don’t even get me started on in sickness or in health.

But marriage is just one example of many life’s journeys. Continue reading “Destinations Require a Journey”