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“Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. ” Genesis 6:9 What does it mean? Noah had righteousness, the gift to him from God. Noah was a saved man. He kept the gift of his righteous status alive in his soul, in spite of the many unrighteous influences of his generation. This kept him “alive unto God.” And so he walked the earth with God. Profound as a testimony, it describes the same life potentially lived by today’s righteous. James 1:27  proclaims, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Noah’s pre-flood days coincided with God’s 120 year pronouncement in Genesis 6:3. — A space for repentance in which the Spirit of God would still strive with men, howbeit, every imagination of the…

Fishermen wade smack-dab into the water where fish swim, as a blue heron readies for it’s own breakfast, lunch or dinner. Why do they go in the water as opposed to fishing from the shore? Here are some answers: “…wearing waders permits me to fish down stream and positioning my lures in the spot that is only possible while being in the water.”  “…helps me to avoid the many snags such as branches and tree trunks that are commonly found on the banks of many water ways.” “…With waders on I am able to go upstream 100 meters or so from the group and get the big ones all by myself. ”  outdoors.stackexchange As Jesus promises to make us “Fishers of men,” in Mark 1:18,  maybe lessons from fish anglers apply. The Pulpit commentary remarks, “It is plain that, in the pursuit of his calling, the fisherman has no power to…

“The Invitation” requests your presence at a fellowship with Jesus Christ. It politely urges you to enter into love, for eternity. It welcomes your presence at a throne of pardon, one in which all of your faults will have disappeared.  It reveals a gift of righteousness, a stamp of approval, forever. It removes every hindrance to a life of meaning and purpose. Only a devil would refuse this invitation, only a demon could beg to be excused. Only hell itself would accuse the Invitation Giver of lying To all people, whosoever will, this gospel-invitation explains God’s judicial enactments, which pave the way for the Invitation. God attributes to every person ownership of the name, “sinner” — alienated from God. God lays all of that “iniquity” on His Son, Jesus Christ, who carried it to a bloody death. God attributes ownership of the name “righteous” to all who receive Christ; and…

“The meaning of the word “grace” as used in the New Testament… it is nothing less than the unlimited love of God expressing itself in limitless grace.” Chafer “Grace is the free bestowal of kindness on one who has no claim to it.” Berkhof “Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected.” Edwards “…grace is His voluntary, unrestrained, unmerited favor toward guilty sinners, granting them justification and life instead of the penalty of death, which they deserved. Herman Bavinck “Grace is the very opposite of merit… Grace is not only undeserved favor, but it is favor shown to the one who has deserved the very opposite.” Ironside “Grace is favor shown to people who do not deserve any favor at all… We deserve nothing but hell. If you think you deserve heaven, take it from me, you are not a Christian.” Martin Lloyd-Jones R.C.H. Lenski shows the…

A utilitarian view of the universe pits pain and pleasure at opposite poles — sovereignly governing the majority of all decisions and actions made by men and women. Seems that this philosophy has some truth in it. “Utilitarianism” was founded by Jeremy Bentham, an English moral philosopher and legal reformer, born 1748. Some Lost souls purchase such a philosophy, never realizing the far-reaching implications of establishing a moral code on the simple, “pain versus pleasure.” Their simplistic creed explodes when a situation pushes them to higher moral ground. Perhaps a happening, provoking extreme pleasure, simultaneously hurts others. Such common occurrences require moral elevation. Michael Sandel gives this example in his book “Justice.” “In ancient Rome, they threw Christians to the lions In the Coliseum for the amusement of the crowd. … the Christian suffers excruciating pain as the lion mauls and devours him. But think of the collective ecstacy of…

Has life become a mess? Are you hanging out your dirty laundry to dry? Has the world stopped cooperating? Step into God’s peace. Start living in His providence, enjoy His benevolent care, bask in His love, rely on His mercy. Surround yourself with loving family and friends; trust The Lord with all your heart, don’t lean on  your own understanding. Climb into Jesus boat and let Him take you through the storm Abide in His love, rest in the shadow of His wings.  Turn away your eyes from beholding vanity. Be quickened by His Spirit. Love ya

The love of many will wax cold — iniquity will abound. Men’s hearts will fail them for fear. Chilling love, hearts expire. Interesting it is, how heart and love go together. A heart holds the issue of life for a person and possibly that “go” is goodness and kindness. A man believes and embraces these noble attributes and holds them firm in his value system. But can that value system sustain him in the time of testing? Is that value system changeable? In a book by Carl H. Stevens, “cosmic loneliness,” our Pastor quotes Rollo May: he defines Anxiety as “the reaction to the threat to values one identifies with his existence as a self, ” “a person can meet anxiety to the extent that his Values are stronger than the threat.” Again from May, “man defines maturity as the holding of values, with no importance placed on the truth…

The continually present sense of one’s sins having been once for all forgiven, is the strongest stimulus to every grace. J.F.B. Psalm 130:3-4 teaches, ” If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?  But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.” In John 13:10 Jesus teaches this once-for-all accomplished cleansing of unbelievers at their new birth.  “He that has been bathed (once for all) needs not save to wash his feet (of the soils contracted in the daily walk), but is clean every whit (in Christ our righteousness).” “Once purged (with Christ’s blood), we should have no more consciousness of sin (as condemning us, Hebrews 10:2, because of God’s promise).” All quotes, J.F.B. commentary. But Peter tells us in 2Peter 1:9 “some have forgotten that they were purged from their old sins.” Why? He  continues, they “lack certain things, have become blind, cannot see…

I have good news and bad–First the bad. Angrily driven, my hatred propels me to unprecedented heights of mischief and pain-inflicting. Then, righting my wounded soul by raucous revenge, I hurt that which has so damaged my cause. My deeds are done. My world of entitlement returns for my enjoying. Who cares if my methods were not exactly legal? “The end justifies the means;” because power has been regained. Yes, power. To manipulate, to steal, to wield the axe of “freedom at everyone else’s expense.” Question? When the rambunctious radical gets what he or she so desires, what now drives him? When revenge finds its sweet release, do revengers turn into happy caring individuals again? I think not. Their ugly self-validated, psychologically justified souls,  have spilled over for all to see. These have played the “hate card,” the same card that we all could play, but have dared not, as…

“And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.  And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.  And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.” Genesis 9:20-23. Shem and Japheth went backward and their faces were backward — in order to not see their Father’s nakedness. A strange picture, but apparently necessary to avoid seeing their father in a precarious way. What can we learn? We must turn ourselves in such a way to not see certain forbidden things. Why not just close our eyes? Not enough — blindness to the entire world of sense perception…