Month: January 2013

Faux Prosperity

There are faux-furs, faux-leathers and faux-floors that can give you the look of the real thing, but that’s all they do – they give you the look without the reality! But of all the fauxs out there, perhaps the most fake is faux-prosperity.

Prosperity is a funny thing. Our level of prosperity can be determined by our self or it can be determined for us by someone else. Prosperous is real growth. Prosperity is only a frame of mind.

Reliability, dependability, and accountability all end like prosperity, but only prosperity changes, as reliability, dependability and accountability, by their nature, stay the same. In other words, only when prosperity is brought on by reliable, dependable and accountable ways is prosperity prosper-able. All other prosperity is faux – or fake and fleeting like snowflakes on a sunny day.

People love to talk about five-year highs in the stock market, but they do so while ignoring the fifty year low of morality!

The Psalmist of old said, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it…” (Psalm 127:1). If we forget this principle as a nation, as a family or as a church, we will live this principle as a nation, as a family or as a church. It is really that simple. If this doesn’t sink in then something’s going to fall in!

Many fine “houses” have been built through the millennia. Nations have watched economic houses, military houses, royal houses, and houses built of the finest materials go from being powerhouses of perceived prosperity to bubbles that popped in the blink of an eye.

Promising prosperity while building it upon faux-materials and a faux-morality is a faux pas that cannot be ignored faux-sure! EA

And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”” (Luke 12:17-21)

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God Gives Boundaries For A Reason

Some fences are built to keep things out. Some fences are built to keep things in. The most effective fences are built to do both.

The need for a fence is not always determined by what is meant to be kept out. Nor is the need for a fence solely dependent upon what is meant to be kept in. A farmer with livestock might build a fence to keep things in. A business owner may build a fence to keep people out at certain times during the night. A parent with small children may build a fence not only to keep what is harmful from getting in the yard but to also keep what is important inside the yard from going out into dangerous territory.

The American culture is forgetting how important, how valuable and how needed good fences are! Young people, old people and all people need to be taught that the boundaries given to us by God are meant to protect, not to restrict.

A growing majority of the people in America are choosing to openly rebel against God and ignore the plain boundaries that He has given us. People are worried about the future debt of young people – our young people are reaping the consequences of sinful choices today!

Rampant divorces, illegitimate children and the fruits of “sexual freedom” are ripping our hearts out but we refuse to stop. The “land of the free” was never meant to be a land free from the boundaries of God. And the worsening conditions of the heart of our country are being exposed, not by the financial situation we are in, but by the spiritual boundaries that we continue to break and grind to dust. Every foundational principle of the home is under attack socially and politically and the “free living” lifestyle that is so widely promoted in the media and in our nation’s government is coming at a price that we cannot afford to pay. We are getting closer and closer to the “debt ceiling” in more ways than one!!!

God does not want us to learn our lessons the hard way like the “prodigal son” of Luke 15:11-32. But at least the son in that parable learned what boundaries were all about. Unfortunately, people are not learning from their mistakes today. As a matter of fact the average person doesn’t even realize they’re sitting in the stench and mire of the pig pen!!! People have always made mistakes for sure, huge mistakes, but today we (as a nation) are continuing to look at God’s boundaries with increasing disdain instead of acceptance. I suppose we will all find out together what really lies out beyond the boundary in the “far country” eventually.

God has given His grace for a reason but God has given us His law for a reason too! We can listen and learn, and do well; or we can “live” and learn, and deal with the consequences.

The thing about freedom from boundaries that people are forgetting is that it can be equated to a rope with just enough slack to hang our selves with…and the rope is getting tighter everyday! Only in God’s boundaries will we find true protection and freedom. EA

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” (John 15:10)

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:2-5)

Bible Questions and Answers – Blaspheme the Holy Spirit

“Dear brother Thurman: In a moment of weakness I was tempted to curse the Holy Spirit. Now, based on Matthew 12:32 I am afraid I will lose my soul. Have I sinned in such a way I cannot be forgiven? – C.S., CO”

He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters. Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matthew 12:30-32). Jesus is speaking to people who are rejecting Him as Messiah. He tells them that they can reject Him but they better not reject the Spirit. Why? Because the Spirit was giving ample evidence Who Jesus was. The miracles, the healings, the powerful demonstration of God’s presence with Jesus should convince them He is the Christ. If they reject that evidence, they have blasphemed against the Spirit and cannot be saved. They are not beyond redemption. But as long as they reject the evidence concerning Jesus they cannot be saved.

This is still true. If we reject Who Jesus is, we will not be saved. When we ignore the clear evidences of the Spirit as to the nature of the Son of God, we will not be saved by the Son of God. But, if we embrace that evidence and trust it, we can always be saved. So, a moment of weakness in which you considered saying something hateful about God or Jesus or the Spirit, is not beyond forgiveness. The only ones beyond forgiveness are those who reject the only path to forgiveness, Jesus the Christ, the Son of God. – David Thurman

Excerpted from Volume 61, Number 19 of Gospel Minutes. Gospel Minutes is a publication originating from Forth Worth, Texas; Clem Thurman, Editor, David Thurman, Associate Editor.

Enemies of the Resurrection

The resurrection of the dead is the cornerstone doctrine that Christianity is built upon; at least that’s how the apostles felt about it. Paul put it all out on the table by plainly, and soberly, telling the church at Corinth:

Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-19)

In the midst of the church at Corinth there were enemies of the resurrection, but when you think about it, the resurrection had enemies before the church was even established.

Even though the Old Testament gave evidence of the resurrection to the Jews, there were still doubters and deniers. They had the example of Elisha and the young child (2 Kings 4), the example of the “raising” of Samuel’s soul (1 Samuel 28), the example of the dead bones of Elisha and the living man (2 Kings 13) and the example of the prophecies in Isaiah 26:19 and Daniel 12:2, and this is not to mention the example Peter used from Psalm 16:10 while preaching Jesus as the resurrected Christ and Lord. Despite these repeated examples there were enemies who still contradicted the plain evidence of the scriptures…and people, even religious people, think they’re breaking new ground when they take on the examples of the Bible today???

On one occasion, Jesus told the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection but came to him sarcastically asking questions about it, in Matthew 22:23 that they were in error because they did not know the scriptures or the power of God (Matthew 22:29). What scriptures did they not know? It surely wasn’t the Gospel According to Matthew! It was in part, the very scriptures noted above. It was the scriptures of the very Law they were living under that said death is not the end all be all. In Matthew 22:32 Jesus proved by the language that God used with Moses, the writer of their Law, that man will live…does live beyond the grave:

“‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”” (Matthew 22:32)

What some people forget is that believers in the resurrection preceded the empty tomb of Jesus. Paul used the “pro-resurrection” beliefs of the Pharisees against the Sadducees to avoid an unjust trial against him (Acts 23:1-10) and he used the Old Testament scriptures to defend his teaching concerning the resurrection showing that the early fathers of the Jews believed in the resurrection too (Acts 24:15-16). So believers in the resurrection preceded the empty tomb for sure, but the empty tomb is what fulfills the hope that it takes to hold on to it! (1 Peter 1:3)

The resurrection brings hope to God’s people, but the resurrection brings fear to God’s enemies. This is why the resurrection was such a big “target” to people in the past who did not want to answer for what they had done; and why it remains the “target” that it is today even though God makes His grace available.

As soon as the good news of the empty tomb began to spread, people began to attack the resurrection (Matthew 28:1-15), but they didn’t win in the past and they won’t win in the future. As a matter of fact, to fight the fact of a resurrection is a losing battle that is not lost by the word win – it is lost by the word when!!! Read Colossians 3:4 if you don’t get it. EA

Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-26)

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Too Many Wombs Have Been Turned Into Tombs!

Does a woman’s womb carry a life, or does a woman’s womb carry a choice?

Regardless of how one answers the second half of the question, the first half is only controversial to the darkened heart!

For one to conceive that it is morally acceptable to turn a womb into a tomb on the basis of some supposed freedom or civil right is abominable. It should be inconceivable to anyone who has any kind of grasp of what simple morality is to think that a “civilized” society should accept a concept such as abortion to be anything but the taking of an innocent life. How fast can the word “Hippocratic” become “Hypocritical”? Say the word “abortion” and you’ll find out.

Is a child in the womb a “life to be born” or must the child be “born to be life” ???

I’ll let this picture speak for itself, for if one will not listen to it they will not listen to anything I have to say:

If you are not familiar with the story behind the picture click here for the details.

Not only is the Bible clear on what a woman carries within her womb, but so is the common sense that accompanies any decent minded parent that has seen their child grow within the body of the mother.

If you find yourself on the other side of the issue, please reconsider and seek the innocent blood of the One who can forgive all the senseless shedding of the innocent blood of others. EA

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was in this way: when his mother Mary was going to be married to Joseph, before they came together the discovery was made that she was with child by the Holy Spirit.”

(Matthew 1:18 – BBE)

Drop The Ball

Drop the ball – whenever you hear that phrase it’s usually made in reference to someone messing something up, but not when it comes to the New Year!

“Drop the ball” in that context means starting over. It has to do with America’s tradition of watching the “Ball” in New York City drop to light the New Year’s sign when the clock strikes 12:00…or 11:00 if you live in the Central Standard Time Zone. A lot of people enjoy keeping that tradition, while others enjoy sleeping. Eh, to each his own when it comes to that.

So what does that “ball” and the New Year bring with it?  I don’t know honestly. We all have hopes but the fact of the matter is we just don’t know.  Some things can completely depend on us while other things are completely out of our hands. As for the things we can’t control, more prayer in the New Year can help.

But how about the things we can control? Things like spending more time with family, becoming more evangelical or growing stronger in our own devotion to God. When it comes to things like that the “ball” is in our court.

This year, start a new family tradition that lets you “unplug” and spend more valuable time with your family. Use Bible tracts to give to others so they can learn more about the Bible and the salvation that its pages contains (Heart to Heart, House to House has a great selection that covers various topics). If you’re not a member of the church of Christ, make a “resolution” to visit the worship services or Bible Study services of a local congregation in your area.

The New Year gives us a new “ball” of sorts.  I dare you to “drop it” and start living for God. EA

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

(2 Corinthians 5:17)