Running From The Rescuer


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"And he said, 'I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself'" (Genesis 3:10).
"And the angel said to them, 'Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people'" (Luke 2:10).
"Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery" (Hebrews 2:14-15).
Once I broke a window when I was a boy.  My dad wasn't home, but I feared his anger, so I hid.  When he came home, he found me.  He asked me what happened.  I didn't want to tell him.  But he wasn't angry.  (Okay, maybe just a little.)  "Are you alright?" he asked.  My earthly father was concerned for my safety, even though I ran in fear of his anger and just punishment for my action.

LGBTQ Cannot Move The Rock Who is My Fortress!

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Adolf Hitler blamed Jews for Germany's problems.  That's why six million were unjustly murdered and why millions of others accepted it.  The Jews were Hitler's scapegoat.  "If we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it."  The time when persecution will come to Christians in the United States is no longer futuristic.  The time is now.

The LGBTQ (Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual Transgender and Questioning) agenda has risen both in strength and number in recent years.  Today, the spirit of the anti-Christ is strong and growing stronger in the minds of people - even in some who consider themselves to be Christian.  Recently, I have read several disturbing articles (listed below) regarding the indoctrination of the LGBTQ agenda into the minds of free men, women, and children.

Performance-Based Christianity

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I grew up in a Christian home.  My parents took my siblings and I to Sunday school, church, and lots of church events.  My dad led family devotions with us at the table after supper and on Saturday morning after breakfast.  As I grew older, the responsibility and discipline of spending time with God shifted from my parents to me, and I began to read and study on my own, drive myself to youth group, and get involved in church events more independently.  I didn't smoke, drink, or "hook up" with girls because I knew those things were not what a Christian should do.  From the outside, I'll bet the majority of people thought I was a good, happy Christian.

But I could not fool myself and I could not fool God.

Practical Ways to Disciple Your Child

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A few months ago, I entered into a new season of life: I became a dad.  Along with becoming a dad came the responsibility to train and teach my family in the way of righteousness.  It is important for dad's to take their role as spiritual leader of the home seriously and be intentional about fulfilling the duty.

Discipleship is an important duty for the father to lead intentionally.  Discipleship is the term used to define Jesus' command to "make disciples" (Matthew 28:18-20).  Making disciples means "baptizing others in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them all that God commands" (Matthew 28:18-20).

4 Prayers That Destroyed My Life

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At different times throughout my life, God has given me a prayer to pray.  Each one of these prayers has led me to a deeper and fuller knowledge of the one true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent (John 17:3).

Here are the prayers the faithful Lord gave me to pray, listed chronologically as I went from justification to further sanctification (and, indeed, am still being sanctified until the day my Savior appears in all His glory!):

Restore Unto Me the Joy of Your Salvation

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Introduction
The Lord God blesses His children with unspeakable and irrevocable joy through Jesus Christ. There are times when the Christian does not see the joy of Christ, but it does not mean that the joy of Christ has disappeared or been removed from the believer. Around the dinner table, when the lights are on, you see your family clearly. When the lights are turned off, they do not disappear suddenly. They are still there, but you are unable to see them. Yet even in times of darkness and trial, the Christian has every cause for rejoicing because of the truth of Jesus Christ: “I will never leave those whom I have chosen, nor will I ever forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6 paraphrase). The Lord Jesus is our joy in all things.

Creation

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God exists for eternity.  He has no beginning and he has no end.  He was not created, for every created thing has a beginning.  Time, space, people, animals, your house, your clothes - all of these things have a beginning.  It is not so with God.

God did not create Himself, for that is a law of contradiction.  No one can self-create.  In order to do so, one would have to be before one is.  It is impossible, even for God.

Jesus Christ: The Pinnacle of All Things

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Hebrews 4:13 "And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do (to whom we must give account)." 
Romans 5:6 "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly."
If I were to take your secret thoughts and the things hidden deep in your heart and burn every single one of them onto a DVD, and then I were to take that DVD and put it into your living room DVD player, and after your family and friends had all taken their seats, I was to push play - you would run out of that room as fast as you could, for how great your shame would be.  (Either that or you would smash your TV until the images were gone.)

Can A Christian Give Grace?

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No, a Christian can never give grace.  What about with God's help?  No, not even then can a Christian give grace to others.

There is much in the realm of theology (that is, "the study of God," in which every Christian should be actively engaged) that is misguided and untruthful.  One of the deceptions leading to falsehood among confessing Christians is the current distorted definition of grace.

The Nice Christian

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The good, sovereign Lord is faithful to see to it that His followers never get too far off the straight and narrow path of His truth.  He disciplines His people into righteousness, so that they may properly and correctly walk in His ways.  This truth is evidenced in church history.

The War Against Man


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The publication before the most recent Reader's Digest produced a cover page of a woman dressed boldly and prepared for survival in the outdoors.  In the background, a man peered out of the bushes at the woman, bewildered and eyes wide with fear.  In the most recent issue of Reader's Digest, a reader commented on this particular cover page.  He said he wanted Reader's Digest to be careful how they depicted men, and that he was disappointed that Reader's Digest had joined the "war on men."

Of God's Sovereignty and Man's Responsibility

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God's Sovereignty
Romans 1:1 “... set apart for the Gospel of God.”

Paul is not simply saying that he was saved in order to tell others about the Gospel. Paul is not so weak in his theology and doctrine to believe that God would save him only to tell others about Him. True knowledge of the one true God reveals this: That Paul has been set apart from sin unto glory by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (which is the Gospel), and by this separation worked in us by the power of God, God is glorified because of the great work He has done. The regenerate life is a testimony, a witness, a memorial to the power of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The life of a believer is marked by this. It is God who sets apart; therefore, it is God who is glorified in us.

"You are beautiful."

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My wife and I had our first baby last Friday.  What made the event even more incredible than it already was, was that she was born on my birthday - July 22nd.  I could not have asked for a greater celebration than what was given to us on that memorable day.

As soon as little Brielle was born, and the doctor showed her to us, my wife and I thought she was the most beautiful baby on the face of the earth.  And at four days old, she looks even more beautiful than she did when she was first born.  We often tell her, "You are so beautiful."

"Show me Your glory!"

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Recently, I started a new job as athletic director and teacher at a private school. On top of that, my brother-in-law and I are attempting to start a small tree service business with machinery that was graciously given to us, but does not work yet. I have been working for an existing local tree service business this summer as well, amounting some extra income before the school year starts. I am allowed the opportunity to preach once a month at our local church, lead music there on occasion, and lead a men’s group on Saturday morning. In addition to all of these things, my wife and I are looking to purchase our first house - we are currently living in my parents’ basement, an arrangement we are thankful for, but did not intend to last more than a few weeks; it’s been over a year now. To top it all off, we are expecting our first baby in only a few short weeks. With all these changes taking place, there is also the insurance switches, the bank loans, and other legal documents to complete in a timely manner.

True Joy Comes From the Finished Work of Christ Jesus

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How could Paul be so joyful before God when he knew his sin was deserving of death? This is the man who hated Jesus, God’s anointed, with intense zeal. Why, then, after the truth was revealed to him on the road to Damascus did Paul not take part in penance or self-mutilation or self-loathing to absolve himself from his sins? Is that not what our guilt-laden nature requires of us: restitution for our wrongs? Do we not all feel that payment is necessary for our sins? Yet, there is no joy found among self-mutilation or self-loathing, for there is no absolution from sin apart from Jesus Christ.

From Captivity to Freedom!

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God told Abraham in the book of Genesis, "I will bless you and make you a great nation.  The number of your descendants will be as numerous as the sand on the seashore, or the stars in the heavens."  This promise was given when Abraham was 100 years old and his wife was ninety - and they had zero children.  But God is always faithful in fulfilling His promises.  Fast forward past Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph and his brothers, and the promise is fulfilled.  During Israel's captivity in the land of Egypt around the time of Moses, God blessed Abraham's descendants so that they were in the millions.

Repeating History

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This saying is trustworthy and true: "History repeats itself."

Most everyone has heard the phrase, but why is it true?  It is true that history repeats itself, not because all the individual circumstances and characters line up exactly as they were in any given historical account, but because the natural world has not undergone extensive, redefining changes.  Nature continues its constant, un-rushed, consistent pattern of absolutes.

Here are a few examples of nature's absolutes that I am referring to: Men and women still attempt to usurp the throne of God as sovereign ruler and law-giver.  The earth's heating and cooling patterns cycle every once in a while because God designed it that way.  There is no such thing as global warming.  The seasons continue their changes, uninterrupted and certainly never rushed.

Our Down Payment

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"And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee" (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).

Morally good or saved by grace?

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This morning I was playing basketball with some other men before school. I was growing frustrated because I wasn’t playing up to the level I wanted and I was letting it negatively influence my mood. I was starting to get mad and think negatively of myself and my team. In between games, I went to get a drink of water. I was alone, so I began talking to myself. “Okay, I gotta change my attitude. I need to be more positive.” Then it hit me: What was I attempting to change? My attitude. This I could do. I had been trained in morality by my parents to have self-control, to be kind, to do unto others as I would have them do unto me, and to be patient. Having upstanding moral character is definitely a good thing to possess, and it is part of what separates the believer from the non-believer, but it is not what justifies a man before God. This is where, I fear, many professing Christians have been deceived.

A Prayer: Knowing God

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Over the last few days, I have had a difficult time reading any chapter in the Bible without seeing the Gospel in action.  I cannot stop meditating on the wonder of the supernatural power of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His resurrection from the dead.

Today, I am going to be even more vulnerable with you than I have been in the past. I am going to share with you a prayer I wrote as I sought God for more knowledge of Him. May the Spirit of our great God guide you and I into the fullness and knowledge and height and depth of His Gospel.

Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet: Preparation for Holy Week

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Palm Sunday introduces the beginning of what is commonly called "Holy Week" or "Passion Week" with praises and songs in honor of our Lord Jesus; although, this joyfulness soon turns to soberness in the solemn remembrance of Jesus Christ's persecution, beatings, and death upon the cross on Good Friday.  Saturday brings with it anxious anticipation of what follows on Easter Sunday: celebrating Jesus' resurrection from the dead!

The Pursuit of Safety




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My whole life, I, like countless others, have pursued safety for myself and my family.

But what if God isn't calling us to safety, but away from it?

When God was looking for someone to "stand in the gap" in Ezekiel 22, He was searching for anyone.  He didn't care if he was nice, proper, or comfortable - God just needed a man.  Any man who would trust Him.

If I was to make a list of the strongest men I know in my own life, I would list the men who live recklessly-righteous lives for God.  They literally don't care what people think of them.  They only care if God approves of their behavior.

Doing the Right Thing

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I recently heard a man named Crawford Loritts speak about a man's need to do what must be done even when he doesn't feel like doing it.  He went on to explain that many people - the majority of people, perhaps - live their lives based on emotions and feelings.  Most men make decisions based on how they feel rather than on what must be done.

I believe Mr. Loritts has correctly analyzed the state of manhood today.

I love watching the "Andy Griffith Show".  Of course the show is no longer airing today, but my family has accumulated many of the show's DVDs and we watch them quite frequently.  The reason I personally enjoy them so much is that they illustrate values that are

That's Debatable: The Entitled Generation

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Over the next few posts, I will focus on debatable issues among Christians today; namely, how God wants His people to respond to current political and social issues. I believe the Bible is the source for all knowledge and truth for any and every time and occasion. Therefore, by God's Spirit, I will do my best to interpret some of the most difficult passages of the Bible to assist in understanding how Christians are to respond to some of today's most highly debated topics.

Rule-breakers

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I have a no cell phone policy in my classroom at school.  Throughout the district, cell phone policies vary from teacher to teacher.  I choose to not allow cell phones except during specified time periods.

Most students comply with this rule with ease and understanding.  These students are aware that cell phones can be a distraction and that I do not want them distracted during instruction time.  But there are some students who view me as unfair and mean because

That's Debatable: Submitting to the Government

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Over the next few posts, I will focus on debatable issues among Christians today; namely, how God wants His people to respond to current political and social issues.  I believe the Bible is the source for all knowledge and truth for any and every time and occasion.  Therefore, by God's Spirit, I will do my best to interpret some of the most difficult passages of the Bible to assist in understanding how Christians are to respond to some of today's most highly debated topics.

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