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And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,  And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.  Matthew 18:1-6 Jason Gray wrote a song about Christmas : “They’re dressing up the city in a brightly lighted gown, They’re singing in the streets when Christmas comes to town. So let the spirit find you where ever you have been,…

Lists in the Bible are many — here are a few: 2Timothy 3:1  teaches: ” … understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. ” For people will be: selfish, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, (over-shining). irreverent. disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, Without natural affection trucebreakers slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,  treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,  having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. . Avoid such people. In contrast is God’s love list of 1 Corinthians 13: Love is so patient and so kind; love never boils with jealousy; it never boasts, is never puffed with pride; It does not act with rudeness, or insist upon its rights; it never gets provoked, it never harbors evil thoughts;  Is never glad when wrong is done, but always glad when truth prevails;  It bears…

Faith exists the truly held, felt, smelled, and shelled nugget of gold — the one of my hopes and dreams — but comes by hearing, and the spiritual sense of hearing can only come by the Word of God.. Yes, God’s Word, God Himself, and our participation in that Nature, becomes our way, our truth, and our life. How? I must get near Him and when I do, like the Shulamite woman of Song of Solomon, Chapter 3, hold Him and never let go — “until I had brought Him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.” The Pulpit commentary explains: “ecstatic and intense as her devotion is, it is not the lawless affection of a concubine, but the love of a noble wife. The religious emotions are always presented to us in Scripture, not as wild fanaticism or superficial excitement, but as pure…

The Christmas Cross Some aspects of Christmas disclose themselves covertly: The Christ-child, tiny babe, was also Mankind’s Savior and continues our Personal Defender. You see, justice precedes love in God’s saving scheme, and we must see this. Justice and judgment must factor in, or we lose realness. Without grounds for judicial release in the objects of love, love has not much meaning. But what gets judged? Moses, in Exodus 15, led Israel three days without water toward Mara. The waters there were bitter and the people shrieked. Who could blame them, but was there a meaning? Moses begged an answer from God, crying with body prostrated. God showed him a tree and Moses threw the tree into the water, and the waters were made sweet. First thought is: God, using God’s man, leads them, but they hate the bluntness of circumstance. Number two, God wants to demonstrate justice and truth,…

  “The world always has had a cross between two thieves for the one who comes to save it.” And yet: ” If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31 “The graceful gait of virtue is always followed by and scoffed with grimace and travesty.” And yet, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32 ” …as long as there are virtue and righteousness in the world, there will be something for iniquity to grin at.” And yet,  “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifies.” Romans 8:33 “All along the line of the ages, and in all lands, the cry has been, ‘Not this man, but Barabbas.’” And yet,  Who is he that condemns? It is Christ…

“I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:  Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou remembers no more: and they are cut off from thy hand. Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.” Psalm 88:4-6 Are we free, among the dead, yet? Job wished for it.  “Why did I not die at birth, come out from the womb and expire?” Job 3:11 “For then I would have lain down and been quiet; I would have slept; then I would have been at rest,”  Job 3:13 Philosophers, get out the Bible and philosophize! Forget about the meaning of life. To die is the meaning of life. Duh! Jesus knew this, Luke 9:51 teaches, “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, He set his…

“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…