“God’s Glorious Theater” 2/12/2016 by Nancy Ruegg

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

 Written by Nancy Ruegg @  http://nancyaruegg.com

View original post @      http://nancyaruegg.com/2016/02/11/gods-glorious-theater/

 

 

God’s Glorious Theater

February 11, 2016 by Nancy Ruegg

(A personal psalm)

 

Oh, Lord God of creation,

I praise you for the glowing hues of your sunsets, the heavenly aroma of your lilacs, and the lyrical bird choruses you orchestrate in springtime.

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I praise you for endowing us with physical senses to experience these splendors and countless more.

John Calvin once described the world of nature as your glorious theater. How appropriate. Night and day you present a dramatic performance!

You bring out the starry host one by one, and call them each by name (Isaiah 40:26).

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Astronomers can only estimate their number – perhaps up to 3,000 million billion. That’s a three followed by sixteen zeroes! And you know them all by name?!

Oh, Lord, your creative ability knows no bounds of size or number.

Men get excited about creating multi-story skyscrapers, each one a bit taller than the last.

You create galaxies.

In addition to the heavens, you have made everything on the earth and in the seas – from minuscule microbes to mighty mountains, from single-cell protozoa to humpback whales. You give life to everything (Nehemiah 9:6).

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And yet, your creative power, as well as your wisdom and engineering in preserving your work, are mere finger-play for you (Psalm 8:3a).

My heart swells with awe.

When I take note of your wonders, I realize that you love:

  • Variety – as seen in the myriad kinds of plants and animals around the globe

  • Organization – recognized in the sustainable food chains, predictable tides, and purposeful cycle of seasons

  • Pattern – revealed in the stripes of a zebra, the hexagons of a honeycomb, and the spiraled petals of a rose

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  • Color – artistically displayed on butterflies, birds, and even in the galaxies

  • Beauty – exhibited in majestic trees, aquamarine waters, and snow-topped mountains

  • Intricacy – demonstrated with lacy frost, coral reefs, or the DNA double helix found in almost all organisms

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But why, Lord? What is the purpose of all this craftsmanship, all the attention to detail, all the grandeur?

Surely you chose to display your glory outside of heaven so that we might come to revere you (Psalm 33:6-9).

And one day we will join with the throng of heaven and proclaim you worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because you created all things (Revelation 4:11).

But there’s really no need to wait, is there?  Even if there is just one voice, you listen with parental joy and appreciation.

So I lift my one voice to praise you:

Lord of the universe, my mind cannot fathom that out of nothing you fashioned all the beauty, majesty, and complexity of the world.

With the mountains and hills I burst into song before you, with the trees of the field I clap my hands, because you are mighty in power, glorious in splendor, and loving toward all that you have made.

 

(Nehemiah 9:6; Isaiah 55:12; Psalm 147:5; Psalm 145:12, 17)

Photo credits:  michiganradio.org; http://www.stylespinner.com;http://www.animalians.wikispaces.com; http://www.etsy.com,http://www.pinterest.com.

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“Is the Holy Spirit a person?” 2/11/2016 Posted by www.gotquestions.org

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

 Posted by www.gotquestions.org

Original post @  http://www.gotquestions.org/Holy-Spirit-person.html

 

https://i0.wp.com/www.therealpresence.org/essentials/images/holy_trinity-1.jpg

Question: “Is the Holy Spirit a person?”

Answer: Many people find the doctrine of the Holy Spirit confusing. Is the Holy Spirit a force, a person, or something else? What does the Bible teach?

The Bible provides many ways to help us understand that the Holy Spirit is truly a person—that is, He is a personal being, rather than an impersonal thing. First, every pronoun used in reference to the Spirit is “he” not “it.” The original Greek language of the New Testament is explicit in confirming the person of the Holy Spirit. The word for “Spirit” (pneuma) is neuter and would naturally take neuter pronouns to have grammatical agreement. Yet, in many cases, masculine pronouns are found (e.g., John 15:26; 16:13-14). Grammatically, there is no other way to understand the pronouns of the New Testament related to the Holy Spirit—He is referred to as a “He,” as a person.

Matthew 28:19 teaches us to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is a collective reference to one Triune God. Also, we are not to grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). The Spirit can be sinned against (Isaiah 63:10) and lied to (Acts 5:3). We are to obey Him (Acts 10:19–21) and honor Him (Psalm 51:11).

The personhood of the Holy Spirit is also affirmed by His many works. He was personally involved in creation (Genesis 1:2), empowers God’s people (Zechariah 4:6), guides (Romans 8:14), comforts (John 14:26), convicts (John 16:8), teaches (John 16:13), restrains sin (Isaiah 59:19), and gives commands (Acts 8:29). Each of these works requires the involvement of a person rather than a mere force, thing, or idea.

The Holy Spirit’s attributes also point to His personality. The Holy Spirit has life (Romans 8:2), has a will (1 Corinthians 12:11), is omniscient (1 Corinthians 2:10–11), is eternal (Hebrews 9:14), and is omnipresent (Psalm 139:7). A mere force could not possess all of these attributes, but the Holy Spirit does.

And the personhood of the Holy Spirit is affirmed by His role as the third Person of the Godhead. Only a being who is equal to God (Matthew 28:19) and possesses the attributes of omniscience, omnipresence, and eternality could be defined as God.

In Acts 5:3–4, Peter referred to the Holy Spirit as God, stating, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” Paul likewise referred to the Holy Spirit as God in 2 Corinthians 3:17–18, stating, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

The Holy Spirit is a person, as Scripture makes clear. As such, He is to be revered as God and serves in perfect unity with Father and Son to lead us in our spiritual lives.

Recommended Resources: The Holy Spirit by Charles Ryrie and Logos Bible Software.

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Picture credit:  http://www.therealpresence.org/essentials/images/holy_trinity-1.jpg

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“WHY DID JESUS DIE?” 2/10/2016 by Benjamin George

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Benjamin George for http://shiningourlight.org

Original post @     http://shiningourlight.org/2015/01/08/why-did-jesus-die/

 

Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

 

Have you ever wondered why Jesus had to die? If you haven’t pondered the question, you are missing the crux of Christianity. It is at the cross of Christ that God’s justice and mercy meet.

One of the tragedies of being human is that we sin. We all do what we should not do and fail to do what God requires, our conscience testifies. People usually respond by saying, “Well, everyone does what they shouldn’t do. Nobody is perfect.” I completely agree with that statement, but that does not change God’s standard– “be perfect therefore as I am perfect” (Mat. 5). The prevalence of sin does not obligate God to lower His standard for humanity. On the contrary, the bar remains ever the same, for God is unchanging. This presents a problem for humanity, how is sin reconciled before the God whose standard is unchanging?

As human beings, when we show mercy to people, it is always at the expense of justice. Someone deserves a certain consequence or punishment for injustice, however for mercy’s sake it is withheld. We don’t pour out what a person rightfully deserves. Justice is sacrificed at the expense of mercy.

God does not dispense mercy at the expense of justice like we do. If God chose to “simply forgive sin” He would cease to be God. The very essence of being God is His holiness. He must punish sin. If an earthly judge just let prisoners run rampant because he wanted to be merciful that would be unspeakable. It would be a gross violation of justice. If that’s the standard for a mere earthly judge, how much more holy must God be? As the prophet Habakkuk states, “His eyes are too pure as to behold evil.” God will not sacrifice justice for mercy.

Every individual’s sin demands payment, and God desires that no one be separated from Him. He reconciles the tension through Jesus. It is at the cross of Christ that God can be both just and merciful. The Lord bore the sins of the world so that those who believe in Him could have everlasting life. The cross is the only foundation on which any person stands before God; it is where the righteous demands of the law are satisfied. Acceptance before God is not found in what you do, rather it based solely on the finished work of Christ. (That’s why no one can boast it is all of grace. If you work for it then there is boasting, but if it is a gift boasting is void.) If salvation could be achieved through what we do, then Jesus Christ died for nothing (Gal. 2).

On the cross, Jesus experienced the full wrath of the Father. Christ paid the penalty of sin for each and every individual, so that those who believe in Him alone through faith could be saved (Eph. 2). “By a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified” (Heb. 9). It is a gift to be received for those who recognize their need for a Savior.

Only at the cross is justice satisfied and mercy offered to those who believe in Him.

How deep the Father’s love for us,

how vast beyond all measure

that He would give His only Son

and make a wretch His treasure.

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P.S. (from bruce)  Here is a link for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, after first being drawn in by God…John 6:44http://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

Picture credit:   http://www.dreamstime.com/photos-images/crucifixion-jesus-christ.html#details27611772

 

 

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“The Piano-The Church: The Fix-it Shop-Filling Station” 2/09/2016 by Bill Cote

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org 

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional 

Written by Bill Theunfetteredpreacher Cote @  http://theunfetteredpreacher.com

Original post @  http://theunfetteredpreacher.com/2016/01/28/the-piano-vrs-the-church-the-fix-it-shop-filling-station/

The Piano-The Church: The Fix-it Shop-Filling Station

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“Body of Christ, Listen Up!…We are our own Worst Enemy” 2/08/2016 by Patrick Hawthorne

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org 

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

 

Written by Patrick Hawthorne  @    http://servinggrace.com

 

Original post @  http://servinggrace.com/2016/02/04/body-of-christ-listen-upwe-are-our-own-worst-enemy/

 

(from bruce)  I for one, believe in the prophetic gifts given to some believers by the Holy Spirit, including the gift of tongues, wisdom, and knowledge…  My sister Sharon speaks in tongues, and has experienced 2 other special gifts of those Baptized in the Holy Spirit…  Check out these links for more information… 

 

http://christiananswers.net/q-acb/acb-t004.html

 

https://www.cmalliance.org/about/beliefs/perspectives/spiritual-gifts

 

Body of Christ, Listen Up!…We are our own Worst Enemy

funny anger

Ok…I’ve had it up to here!  I know you can’t see where the here is but use your imagination.  First of all, I am a Charismatic.  Yeah, yeah, I’m one of those nut jobs who have fallen to the insidious master plot of satan to put a veil between my eyes and God’s inerrant Word.   Now that we have established that, let’s get on to what has me somewhat ticked.

I am fed up with these off the wall, wacked-out, wing nuts who fall under the designation of Charismatic coming up with some of the most ridiculous nonsense ever told and then claiming, “Thus saith the Lord.”  No!  The Lord didn’t saith, your pizza did.

I repeat…I am a Charismatic.  I have operated in several of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  I’ve heard the arguments of those who wouldn’t know the presence of the Holy Spirit even if He slapped them upside the head and hung a neon sign around their neck.  Your arguments are noted and filed and yes, somewhat understood because we Charismatics can be our own worst enemy.

For instance, there are times when some nut job who claims to operate in the gifts of the Spirit waltzes into town claiming to have the latest, greatest, and most update-est revelation of God only to see many in the Body…mainly those who call themselves Charismatic…drool over this person like a love struck teenager.  Have we forgotten we need to test the spirits to see if they are of God?

I don’t mean to be blunt…ok, that’s a lie because I aim to be very blunt… but come on folks.  Is it any wonder that Charismatics are given a “Koo-Koo” label by other denominational groups?  Let me give you an example.  I will not mention the person’s name, but he is declaring, from a prophecy given him several years ago, that if the Carolina Panthers win the Super Bowl, their win will signal a nationwide awakening and movement of God.  Come on!  Really?  What if they lose?

Now for you none Charismatics.  Get off your high horses.  Many of you love to spout off about the problems of those who dare believe God still moves.  I remember the uproar many years ago because Oral Roberts dared have a theme song which claimed, “Something good is going to happen today.”  Let’s be honest.  Some of your churches are so dead they are mistaken for a grave yard.

You love to point out all the wrongs of those you disagree with.  You claim freedom in the Lord but are bound tight by your legalistic board driven committee who tells the Pastor what to preach but will not allow the Holy Spirit to orchestrate the service.

I guess what I’m really ticked off about is that we, the Body of Jesus Christ, have been acting like a bunch of two year olds throwing a temper tantrum.  KNOCK IT OFF!!  There are people who are dying and going to hell.  They are looking at all this nonsense which only serves to validate their reasoning for wanting to stay in their sinful life style.  Ok… I’m through.  Please have a blessed day.

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P.S. (from bruce) Here is part 2 from Patrick !!

Part 2 of “Listen Up Church…We are Our Own Worst Enemies

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“Acceptance: what it is and what it is not. (Comparison Cure#2)” 2/07/2016 Elihu Anderson

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org 

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional 

Written by Elihu Anderson on 2/03/2016  @   http://elihuscorner.com/

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“Do Your Sins Keep You from Going to Church ?” 2/06/2016 by Pastor Jim Lee

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org 

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

 

Written by Pastor Jim Lee  for “The Domain for Truth”  @  https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/

 

Original post @  https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2016/01/17/consider-the-possibility-that-the-reason-you-arent-going-to-church-has-to-do-with-your-sins/

 

Consider the possibility that the reason you aren’t going to church has to do with your sins

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This post is part of my intention to posts things on Sunday to call people back to the church who has left it and whom God might be working in their lives to draw them to Himself.  Today’s post is going to be quite frank.

A quote that have really ministered to my soul the last two weeks is “Till sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet” (Thomas Watson).  I’ve been meditating about how true that quote is.  Only when we see our sins for what it is, as sins against God, would we see the sweetness of our Savior.  Then and only then would the Gospel be precious.

I bring this up since a real possibility why people leave the church is because they are not right with God.  Even though people often downplay this important factor, we must not forget that sins separates us from God, and sinful rebellion against Him will dull us and make us apathetic towards God.  Perhaps one might not even be saved to begin with, though at one time in one’s life when you went to church, but did so with an ulterior motive of some kind.  But eventually church gets boring.

Is that you?  Is Church boring?  Are you looking for a church with some excitement among the people?  Do you only look at the people, the programs and the place called “church?”   Perhaps church is boring because you haven’t acknowledge that sin is bitter.  But if one sees sins as bitter, then Christ will be sweet.  And every week going to a God-fearing church that preaches the Gospel about a God who is our Savior who saves us from the punishment of hell and continues to sanctify us would be very sweet indeed.  It would be sweet going to a biblical church because the Savior is proclaimed there…and we gather as a church to celebrate, remember and be renewed with this truth.  We go to church and have our heart in it because we worship Him as worthy…and because He is a sweet Savior of our bitter sins.  Non-Christians need the Gospel…but Christians need the Gospel too.

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