Where are the 12 tribes of Israel?
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Where are the 12 tribes of Israel?
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Today’s reading: I Corinthians 15-16.
“Life is hard, and then you die.” So goes the widespread mantra of the world, echoing the “under the sun” despair of Solomon. Paul has an answer for that depressing slogan: “Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” Our work is not in vain because it bears eternal fruit, and because we will be there in eternity to reap the rewards of our work.
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. I Corinthians 15: 42-44
As the famous sermon goes, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming!” Our mortal bodies can be compared to a seed which bears little resemblance to the mature plant into which it will grow. Now we groan with all creation, but resurrection day is coming when the perishable will put on the imperishable and the mortal will put on immortality. Therefore we have hope.
The Great Physician
“But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” (Matthew 9:12)
It almost goes without saying that a person who is seriously ill would do anything to regain health. But the sad fact is, few people really pay attention to their health until they are threatened with its loss.
On the other hand, testimonies without number have been chronicled which relate an individual’s refusal to acknowledge the claims of Christ until he or she had been stricken with personal problems or physical illness. “You’ve got to be on your back before you will look up,” so the saying goes. But what does the Great Physician have to offer the one whose health seems to be strong from an outward perspective?
Instead of being well, however, the Bible says that everyone is born into this world with a dreadful disease in our souls called sin. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), “and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:15). The sin disease is most tragic when we do not feel it and do not know we have it. “Because thou sayest, I . . . have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). Jesus Christ is the only One who can heal us: “Neither is there salvation in any other” (Acts 4:12). And just as He never sent anyone away who came to Him on Earth for physical healing (Matthew 12:15), so “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37) when he comes seeking salvation.
Certainly one of the most important steps in this process of being healed of our sin sickness is recognizing our desperate need for healing. When we say, “Be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee” (Psalm 41:4), He will respond with forgiveness, grace, and healing. JDM
Which Gospel do you follow? The Kingdom of Heaven Gospel, or the Fire Insurance gospel?
I’ve known folks who believe in the fire insurance gospel. They claim to be saved. They claim they’ll make it into heaven. Jesus saved them, but that’s all they claim to need. They get their bases covered for eternity, then go about their business, saying they’ll be able to take care of everything else.
Their fire insurance gospel creates tension between their gospel and the Gospel of Redemption. The Gospel that Christ died for our sins so we could become the righteousness of God. The Gospel that transforms us so we can fulfill God’s purpose for us to transform others.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God will change us so we can change the world.
We are the hands and feet and eyes and mouth of Jesus. His Gospel travels with us wherever we go.
It’s the Gospel of abundance and the abundant life. We’re redeemed and we’re transformed so we can redeem and transform others. The love of Christ compels us to live out the Gospel of abundance, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. To love Him and trust Him and obey Him and promote Him. To follow His blind agenda for us.
We’re coming quickly to the holiday of abundance. We’ll get and give more stuff, much of which will probably find a home in the attic or the garage or a closet.
Step back for a moment and look at all your stuff, wherever it is, as much as it is. All your worldly possessions.
Now, would you be willing to give it all up. To walk away from it all for good?
To have nothing…….but Jesus?
Would Jesus be enough?
Would His promise of a life of abundance here on earth be enough?
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
A message by Missionary Alex Garcia, November 15, at One Heart Church in Norcross Ga., was the inspiration for this blog post.
My oldest son Ryan is an Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts of America. He completed all the merit badges and wrapped up the final details of his Eagle project back in the summer of 2013, only a couple of weeks before his 18th birthday. But instead of being awarded his patch and medal immediately, he waited almost 2 years before actually having his final rank bestowed. That’s because the troop we belong to insists on fulfilling the technicality that says the Eagle Award must be presented in a public ceremony. It’s hard for me to imagine, but Ryan said that there are quite a few boys (now grown men with jobs and families) who have met all the other requirements, and put in the years of service and participation necessary, but never actually bothered to schedule a presentation ceremony. Technically, they are Eagle scouts, but have never told anyone about it. So, not wanting to let his award gather dust in a drawer with all the others, Ryan finally got around to coordinating a ceremony this past summer where he publicly declared to the troop and in the presence of his family and friends that he is now an Eagle scout.
In a similar way, Jesus insisted his followers make a declaration of their new standing in the kingdom of God as well. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matt. 28:19)
Since Jesus did it and told us to do it too, most Christians would probably agree that baptism is important, but that’s about where the agreement ends. While there are often differences between denominations about how, when, and where baptism should take place, the examples in scripture always equate this practice with the profession of faith, followed by immersion in water. (Acts 2:38; 8:12; 10:47–48; Galatians 3:27) And just as the public ceremony that my son went through this summer didn’t make him an Eagle Scout, neither does baptism make a person a Christian. Rather, baptism is a public demonstration of a reality that already exists.
Setting aside our surface disagreements, we need to remember that baptism is important because it is a demonstration of obedience and a proclamation of our faith in God as our Father, Jesus Christ as Savior, and of the Holy Spirit as our companion and guide who lives in us. It also serves as a visual picture of the reality that took place at the moment of our salvation… that is, we died to our old self and have been raised to walk in the new life given by Christ. (Romans 6:4).
So I’d like to encourage everyone, if you have accepted Christ through faith in his finished work on the cross, but have not followed through by being baptized, don’t hesitate! Baptism isn’t a sacrament that imparts eternal life, but instead, like my son’s eagle ceremony, it is a celebration of what has already been done!
Francis Chan on the Two Scariest lies
Originally posted on Tapestry ~ Treasures:
…His authority to stop the wiles of Satan against the believer. Jesus answered Satan in the wilderness with the truth of the scriptures and His dedication of service to his Father God. (Rebuking Satan).
If we are suffering with depression, by praising and worshiping the Lord it will lifts our spirit. So, Get your worship on! Keep rejoicing and be filled with His spirit. Don’t let boredom get the best of you! Do something…go for a walk and naturally be inspired. You can talk to God about the deep things in your heart, call a friend or family but the point is keep moving forward…watch God amaze you, as you step out in faith!
Each time faulty thinking tries to coax you away from Godly understanding and wisdom – you have authority to stand against evil – in the name of Jesus and it must flee!
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Delivered, Translated, Forgiven
“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)
The central message of the gospel lies in Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection. There is much more, of course, to our salvation. The immediate result is described in the two short verses of our text.
We have been delivered “from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God” (Acts 26:18). We have been delivered “from unreasonable and wicked men” (2 Thessalonians 3:2) and “from every evil work,” and are preserved “unto his heavenly kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:18). Ultimately, we have been delivered “from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
We have also been “translated” into the eternal kingdom of the Lord Jesus. We will “not come into condemnation” but have been turned “from death unto life” (John 5:24). Our life prior to salvation was darkness, but we have been made “light in the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8). No longer are we aliens outside of God’s family, but we have been “accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6).
Furthermore, all of our sins have been forgiven, and we are “justified freely by his grace” (Romans 3:24). That forgiveness and justification seal us “unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). And since this is an eternal transaction brought about by a transcendent Creator, we have been raised “up together, and made [to] sit together in heavenly places” (Ephesians 2:6). Already we have the “earnest of our inheritance” (Ephesians 1:14) and the assurance that we will “obtain a better resurrection” (Hebrews 11:35).
In this life, we may struggle with human rejection. David’s comment seems appropriate: “I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge” (Psalm 71:7). HMM III
From the Institute for Creation Research
Today’s reading: I Corinthians 12-14.
Luke described in the book of Acts how spiritual gifts came unexpectedly to new believers, giving evidence of their conversion. By the time of Paul’s writing believers practiced the gifts regularly in the church assemblies. Sometimes they misused the gifts, causing disorder in worship. Paul tried to put the gifts in proper perspective so that members would use them to build up the church rather than confuse it. As you read his words, think about how present they were in the early church, and how they seem almost absent by comparison today.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
Purpose. Spiritual gifts are not given for our own benefit, but for the good of the assembled church. They aren’t for show but for strengthening the body and advancing the kingdom.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues ? Do all interpret?
Qualified to Inherit
“Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” (Colossians 1:11-12)
Having been “made strong with all strength” through “his glorious power,” we are then enabled to complete the assignment that God has granted to us on Earth.
The power of God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). The same power displayed when God raised Jesus “from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:20) is more often needed on Earth for “patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.” The word for “patience” in this text describes a quality of temper that does not easily succumb under suffering. That emphasis is not merely a contextual byproduct. Much of the godly life demands a temperament that opposes cowardice or despondence. We should “glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope” (Romans 5:3-4).
Many of our brothers and sisters in history suffered beyond human endurance, ultimately giving their lives for the Kingdom of God. “But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Romans 8:25). Therein lies the longsuffering that does not hastily retaliate after a wrong. This temperament opposes wrath and revenge.
These godly traits, earned and experienced only while on Earth, reveal us to be “partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” Now, we are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). Later, He will present us “faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24). HMM III
From the Institute for Creation Research