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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Variety



Don't let your eyes
Proudly despise
Brothers who eat
Unholy meat,
Brothers who praise
On the wrong days,
Or have a rule
That is not cool,
Or have a law
You think is raw,
Whose actions might
Seem not quite right.

Is this their goal--
With the whole soul,
All of their days
To give Christ praise?
Jesus their Lord
Is their reward,
And they will stand
Just as he planned
On his great Day,
Sins washed away.

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  (Galatians 5:13 ESV)

Friday, May 06, 2016

Fence Posts


They say good fences make good neighbors.
I've had neighbors where no fence was needed,
   neighbors where a fence kept things wonderful,
      and neighbors where a fence or a wall was not enough.

But if there are good fences,
   there must be good fence posts.

A fence post isn't glamorous.
It may have knots and scratches and splinters.
It may have a greenish cast from insecticide.
It's not much to look at, so why do we want it?

A good fence post is straight
   and strong
      and will last through all sorts of weather.

Lord, make me more like a fence post.
Straighten me.
   Strengthen me.
      Give me endurance
All from your Spirit,
   all for your glory.

Let me and let others forget my glory.
All of it is just glimmers of your great glory.

I don't need to be a giant, towering oak or sequoia.
Make me into a good fence post.

Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. 
(Ephesians 6:11 HCSB)


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Creation


Lord, you made the universe
And stretched it out 'til time stood still
And 'til time flew.
You put the waters down below
And put the waters up above
And you were light
And you made light
And shaped the stars
And hung each one.
We can't explain your wisdom's depths,
But know one thing is true:
The universe, the vast expanse--
All hangs, our God, on you.
_______________________


In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
(Genesis 1:1-8 ESV)

In him we live and move and have our being. (See Acts 17:28)

He [Jesus] is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. 
(Hebrews 1:3a)
_______________________

I just finished reading the book Starlight & Time by Russell Humphreys, PhD.  I don't pretend to understand all of the physics and mathematics in the book, but I believe Dr. Humphreys is right about certain basic assumptions which are implicit, not explicit, in his book: 1. The Bible is accurate. 2. Science is useful. 3. When scientific observations and the Bible appear to contradict each other, we should presume that if we understood things fully, there would be no contradiction.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Baptism


Simple water speaks of blood 
That becomes a crimson flood 
Washing all our sins away 
So we're clean for God's great Day. 

Water also speaks of death--
Burial, a lack of breath.
Dead to all our past and sin.
Washed for life to now begin.

This is nothing we can earn. 
Without Jesus, we'd all burn 
In the fiery depths of hell. 
Jesus rescues...saves us well. 

He removes the heart of stone; 
Makes us flesh for him alone. 
Nothing, nothing else will do: 
Jesus washes. Make us new.

So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:41 ESV)

People argue about the precise relationship between salvation and water baptism. If we affirm and believe what the Bible says, we'll be on safe ground. 
1 Peter 3:21 tells us that

  • There's a sense in which water baptism saves us. 
  • A water baptism that merely removes dirt from the flesh won't save us.
  • Water baptism that has value is connected with prayer for or from a clean conscience.
We also know from Luke 23:39-43 that
  • The thief on the cross who believed Jesus was saved, and there was no opportunity for water baptism for him.
And we know from Jude 12-13 that
  • There are shepherds (pastors) within the church who are going to utter darkness forever. We can presume that most of these evil shepherds have been baptized, but that their baptism did them no good.
I like to say that water baptism is a divinely-ordained way of expressing initial faith in Jesus who saves. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Savior Seated


Have you known the savior seated
   Far above the earth and sky?
His atoning work's completed.
   Now he sits, enthroned on high.

Do you know he's interceding?
   His compassion never dies.
Yes, he hears your heart-felt pleading,
   Sees your tears and hears your cries.

Give him honor, praise and glory
   Which his kingly throne demands.
Let your lips tell wide his story.
   Bow your heart and lift your hands.

He'll return again in power,
   Not in humble stable-birth.
We don't know the day or hour,
   But he comes to rule the earth.

Live or dead, you'll stand before him.
   Christ is Lord, and Christ alone.
Tremble now. Submit. Adore him
   Lest he curse you from his throne.


But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God. (Luke 22:69 ESV)

...and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
(Ephesians 1:19-23 ESV)


...

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Coming Back


Eagerly waiting--
    When will it be?
Jesus, the Savior,
    Will come back for me.
His mighty glory
    I then shall see--
Jesus, the Savior,
    Will come back for me.

Eagerly waiting--
    Will it be long?
While I am waiting,
    My Lord gives a song.
Still I am waiting--
    And hope is strong.
Jesus is coming--
    To Him I belong.

For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. (Galatians 5:5 ESV)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

If Jesus Did Not Die and Rise


But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
(1 Corinthians 15:20 ESV)