Matthew 16:15-17 (NKJV)

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

God was a living God because he had interacted with the Jewish nation so many times. He was the creator of the universe and all that is in it, us included, and he knows the very hairs on your head.

Jesus was his son, the Word, who came into the world to seek and save the lost. All who understand this and turn to him as he declares shall be saved.

Christ is Savior. He died on the cross for the sins of the world, to pay the penalty for us because we could and can not do it ourselves. He only ask us to receive this gift and follow him. To reject this gift means we take the penalty on ourselves for all eternity. To accept the gift means we get to spend eternity with a God who loves us more than we could ever imagine.

Jesus is the Christ (Savior) the son of the Living God! Will you walk in darkness or in light? He loves us but gives us the choice because he loves us, we can accept or reject the choice but we can not deny his love.

Nicene Creed

Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

——

So what do you think about the Nicene Creed, is it something that should be brought back into churches? There was a time when this and other items were said in churches on a regular basis. It was a way to draw people closer to God, to affirm their faith. We have moved away from this, why? I believe because those leading the church have moved more to the pop/new songs and items and away from the traditions and in some cases the solid Word of God.

So many churches are moving away from the truth! God’s word is truth! Recently I read an article of a group of pastors working to legalize gay marriage. Not because of the word of God but so they can “love” every one the same. I believe it is a poor argument, where does it stop? When you walk away from God’s Word where do you draw the line, how can you then say one thing is write and another is wrong. Do they not love other sinners because their sin might not be “legal”? Wrong, we love all but we hate the sin. We love and show love in the name of Christ, to try to draw folks closer to Him. To argue you can’t show love to a sinner because their sin is not legal is wrong!

Romans 5:6-8 (NKJV)
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Thank goodness Christ did not feel that way, he died for us while we were still sinners. He wanted us to move away from sin, to repent of our sins, but he still loved us and died for us while we were in a state of sin. Thank God he did not say, I will change truth then I can love you. No he said I love you, I love Truth, and I will die for you so that you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Freedom is not staying in sin, freedom is accepting Christ and moving away from sin. You will not be perfect right away but in this life as a Christian you should always be moving the the direction of Christ and his perfection and away from sin. We will stumble and fall but He is there to lift us up and help us back on the path to Him.

So take some time in prayer and meditation to move closer to God, use the Nicene Creed as a guide for your prayers for a week and see how it effects your life.

John 8:31-38, Are You Free?

John 8:31-38

John 8:31-38 (NKJV)
The Truth Shall Make You Free

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Abraham’s Seed and Satan’s

37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”

Many believed in Jesus as the Christ because of his words. He encouraged them to stay true to his teaching, to rely on the promises he gave them, and to be on guard against the temptations of the enemy. If they did this they would be his disciples, they would teach his word to those who would come to know Him as well. Their hope wold lie in Jesus, no matter what would come. Christ spoke of spiritual liberty; but carnal hearts suffer the draw of the carnal body.

To speak to the disciples of the loss of property, bondage, captivity of the body and they would not agree with you. Speak to them of the bondage of sin, captivity to Satan and the liberty of Christ and they totally understand what you are all about. Share this with the world he told them.

Jesus reminded them that the man who practiced any sin, was, in fact, a slave to that sin, which is the case with most of them. Christ offers us freedom, he has power to do this, and those whom Christ makes free are really so. We walk in spiritual freedom, but struggle with the carnal body. Often we see persons disputing about liberty to every kind, while they are slaves to some sinful lust.

If Jesus sets us free then why do we continue to walk in carnal lust? Focus on Christ and all that he teaches, He gives us the word to teach us how to follow him. Will we get it right? Not all the time but his grace covers us as we move forward to draw closer to Him.

Prayer.
Lord, help us draw closer to you, help us as we struggle with our worldly lust, the things of this world that draw us away from you. Help us to move ever closer to you. When we fail, Lord, lift us up again and draw us into your presents so that we can stand before you. May your grace cover us all the time, protecting us in spirit from the one who seeks to draw us away from you. In Jesus Name!

Comforted

Isaiah 40:21-26; God’s people are comforted.

Wow, since the foundations of the earth, those who are ignorant are willingly ignorant of God’s Creation.  Isaiah tells us that that God sits above the “Circle of the earth”.  God created and rules over the earth.

In Romans 1:18-25 Paul emphasizes the same theme, God created everything and the creation points to God.  Those who do not know this willingly ignore God and the items that point to him.

God is He who created all, who knows all.

Lord thank you for all creation and your word to point us to you.  Forgive us and hel us to walk in your ways all the days of our lives.

John The Baptist Prepares The Way!

Mark 1:1-8, John The Baptist Prepares The Way

When God sent his Son into the world he took care to prepare the way, and when he sends him into the heart of man he takes care to prepare the way.  The most eminent saints have always been the most humble.  God gives grace to those who repent and are baptized into Christ.

John preached with nothing, for the coming of Christ, he was willing to give up all he had and lead people to God.  He had nothing but the love of God.  So where are we when it comes to sharing the Word of God?  Are we willing to give up all we have in order to preach the word of God?  Can we even come close?

God show me your way, oh Lord help me to live for you and share your word with those around us

 

Were You There?

Where you there?

When you get near the end of Job, Job has finally reached a point where he questions God.

God responds with
Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?, Job 38:4a

I think this is an important question when we question the history of the earth, which has been in the news lately with a few debates being on the web. One such debate was between Bill Nye and Ken Ham (http://debatelive.org/).

I wonder if it is presumptuous of man to think he could know what happened in the beginning (no matter when that was). What makes man today think he can know more than the creator of the universe? If you have doubts about who and when created the universe then read Job 38-42. Then go back and read Genesis 1, then Exodus 20. See if you still think it could have taken a long time to create all that we know and see today.

Romans 1:18-23
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

Free Digital Resources for Bible Study

Free Digital Resources for Bible Study
Compiled by Gregory Linton
Published in the Christian Standard February 2014

BibleGateway.com
Find and compare passages of the Bible based on keywords, phrases, or Scripture reference. Bible Gateway also provides an app that includes more than 90 different translations in more than 70 languages and offers reading plans, audio versions. note taking, and highlighting. It is available on iPad, iPhone, Android phones, and Kindle Fire.

BibleStudyTools.com
“The largest free online Bible website for verse search and in-depth studies.’. Search capabilities in 39 different versions of the Bible as well as access to commentaries, dictionaries. encyclopedias, concordances, historical books, and Greek and Hebrew interlinears and lexicons.

BlueLetterBible.org
More than 20 Bible commentaries plus devotionals, timelines, images, maps, and audio and video sermons from 32 speakers. For each verse, tabs at the top link to original language resources, translation comparisons, cross-references, commentaries. audio sermons, charts, and other tools such as maps and music, Apps are available for iPhone and iPad.

e-Sword.net
A free, downloadable program that allows users to take notes, view maps, check cross-references, and compare translations. The base program includes the King James Version and the Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge, but users can download free and paid additions, such as dictionaries, commentaries, devotionals, maps, and other translations.

GloBible.com
Glo Lite, a free version, includes the New International- Version, King James Version, and additional media content such as HO videos and documentaries, zoomable maps, high-resolution images, historical animations, and virtual tours. For a fee, Glo Premium adds The Message and the English Standard Version and thousands more photos, videos, articles, and tours. It can be installed on up to five devices. Glo is noted for its stylish, well-designed user interface, and it offers simple, intuitive ways to browse biblical content through five lenses: Bible, Atlas, Timeline, Media, and Topical. It is available for Windows, Mac, and iOS.

Logos Bible
Logos Bible Software is a robust system that can be purchased in various packages. For those who do not want to invest hundreds of dollars in Bible software, Logos offers services for free. Bible+ is a free app that includes 40 free Bibles and other books. Signing up for a free Logos account offers access to devotionals, reading plans, favorites, highlighting.. and note taking. Biblia.com, a website featuring free access to many Bibles and an extensive library of free reference works, is based on Logos’s powerful search engine and Bible software. Those who own the software can access their complete library by logging in at Biblia.com.

NTGateway.com
NTGateway.com is a directory of Internet resources on the New Testament. Maintained by Mark Goodacre, professor of New Testament at Duke University, the site recommends resources mostly academic or scholarly in nature. The links are grouped in categories, including Bible translation, the canon, Greek resources, historical Jesus research, textual criticism, and tools and resources. Each book of the New Testament is listed separately with its own links leading to articles, books, dissertations, maps, audio and video resources, and websites.

STEPBible.org
A free, downloadable program provided by the Tyndale House of Cambridge University and aimed primarily at believers in the developing world. It can run on low-spec hardware with intermittent Internet connection and is available in numerous language interfaces. The Bible is also available in many languages, and hundreds more will be added.

TextWeek.com
Provides links to articles, artwork, music, sermons, and other lectionary aids. It was created and is operated by Jenee Woodard of Jackson, Michigan, who is a graduate of Saint Paul School of Theology. The website is so popular with preachers, worship planners, and educators that it receives 2 million hits a month. The site offers indexes for scripture passages, movies, art, and daily leectionary resources.

theWord.net
Offers free, downloadable software that can also be stored on a USB flash drive as a portable version. This highly customizable program allows users to alter the interface, indexes, windows, and preferences. Users can also highlight and take notes within the program. It includes four translations, but more can be downloaded. Add-on modules can also be downloaded free or for a fee,

WORDSearch Basic
Available at WordSearchBible.com, it’s a free, downloadable program that enables comparison of passages in multiple translations and versions, It also provides commentaries and analyses of passages, Users can highlight and take notes in the program, and they can also participate in online discussion groups. The initial program includes the Holman Christian Standard Bible. two devotionals, and a reference work, but more than 200 books and translations are available for free and 3,000 more are available for purchase, Apps are also available for iOS and Android,

YouVersion
With more than 115 million downloads, YouVersion is the world’s most popular Bible app. It provides hundreds of versions of the Bible in more than 100 languages, and it is available on any mobile device for free. The app offers multiple features: audio versions, navigation and search tools, social media connectivity, reading plans. highlighting, and storage of notes in private or public platforms.

Gregory Linton serves as professor of New Testament at Johnson University in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Reflection!

Philippians 3:12-14 (HCSBFree)
Reaching Forward to God’s Goal
12 Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do:Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, 14 I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.

As 2013 draws to a close, we reflect back on the year, the past. Christ Died for us in the past so that we might have a future with him, 2014 gives us new opportunities to look forward and to reflect on what is yet to come. To set goals and to reflect on what we would like to do in the future, how we want to draw closer to Christ, God, and the Holly Spirit.
Lord help us to draw closer to you, walk as you would have us walk, reach those you are drawing to your kingdom.

20110606081328_7461 (Medium)

Veterans Day

Veterans Day

Do you recall in years gone by,
When we used to pause and pray.
For those Americans who gave their lives?
We called it Armistice Day.
The 11th Hour of the 11th Day,
Of the 11th month of the year,
Was set aside to honor those,
Who fought for liberty.
It was called the “War to End All Wars,”
And they died for you and me.
Now, we call it Veterans Day,
To honor all those who served.
31
Surely, we can do no less,
For their deeds are well deserved.
But where now are the parades,
The marching bands and such?
If you care, then tell a friend,
And join in this Veterans Day.
Make the occasion special;
It shouldn’t be made a chore,
For those you have come to honor,
Once cherished peace and not war.
Some now lay in hallowed ground,
For they paid the ultimate price.
Why not then, take the time to visit?
Surely, you can make this sacri ce.
So, whenever you meet a veteran,
Especially on Veterans Day,
Just wave, acknowledge him, or even better yet,
Why not shake his hand and say,
“Thank you for all that you have done,
To keep this nation free.”
And to all who have served before us,
Who treasured liberty,
Once Armistice Day, now Veterans Day,
Just let us never, ever forget,
To pay our respects to all who served;
This nation will forever be in their debt!

- Boyce Clark
Leatherneck, November 1997

Love God, Love Others!

So the Pharisees and Saducees were always trying to trick Jesus, as if they would know more than the Son of God. They always thought they had some new trick question. So here they come up to him and ask what is the greatest commandment, something I am sure they debated all the time, just as we debate what is the greatest sin all the time.

But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.
Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying,
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
Jesus said to him, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like it: ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’
On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 22:34-40 NKJV

All this comes from the old testament, most referenced are these:

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 NKJV

You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.
Leviticus 19:18 NKJV

So Jesus not only comes back with the greatest but also the second greatest, a two for one special as it were.

So were does this come from? The verses in Deut & Lev but lets also take a look at the Ten commandments and see how they break down. If you look at the first four they relate to Jesus answer for the greatest commandment. If you look at the last six they cover the second greatest commandment.

And God spoke all these words, saying: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Exodus 20:1-2 NKJV

1
“You shall have no other gods before Me.
Exodus 20:3 NKJV
2
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
Exodus 20:4-6 NKJV
3
“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
Exodus 20:7 NKJV
4
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.
For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
Exodus 20:8-11 NKJV

5
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
Exodus 20:12 NKJV
6
“You shall not murder.
Exodus 20:13 NKJV
7
“You shall not commit adultery.
Exodus 20:14 NKJV
8
“You shall not steal.
Exodus 20:15 NKJV
9
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Exodus 20:16 NKJV
10
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
Exodus 20:17 NKJV

So in what ever you are doing: Love God, Love Others!