Nuggets – Paul’s Missionary Journey

Paul’s Missionary Journey
“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” (Ephesians 3:8)

The apostle Paul was undoubtedly the greatest missionary of all time. It is well to take note of his missionary strategy, for it was designed to reach the greatest number with the highest efficiency. In the first place, although he by no means neglected his Jewish countrymen, his calling was to all peoples of the world.

As much as possible, he tried to “preach the gospel in the regions beyond” where it had never gone before (2 Corinthians 10:16), “not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation” (Romans 15:20).

He especially concentrated on great cities, particularly the major seaports. He had come from the large city of Tarsus himself, and he preached in the great capital, Rome, and in Athens, the world’s cultural center. Philippi was the “chief city” of Macedonia (Acts 16:12), as was Corinth in Achaia and Ephesus in Asia Minor. Antioch, Troas, Thessalonica—all were great seaport cities. Establishing solid churches in such cities would provide centers for carrying the gospel throughout the world.

In considerable measure, his ministry in these cities seemed to reach people of special ability or opportunity to teach and influence others, such as the philosophers at Athens, the proconsul Sergius Paulus at Paphos, the honorable women of Berea, the school of Tyrannus at Ephesus, and others of like significance.

Most important of all were his writings. Paul wrote half the epistles of the New Testament. He traveled at least 15,000 miles and preached to many thousands of people, but his written words have been read by countless millions over 1,900 years. HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Two Major Concepts Concerning the Apostles’ Doctrine

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Two Major Concepts Concerning the Apostles’ Doctrine

The apostles’ doctrine builds a sure spiritual foundation in a Christian’s heart. These teachings are the “milk of the word” and are the perfect food to help us grow spiritually. In fact, we grow…

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Maranatha – Down from His glory

We begin a new category today – Maranatha . Jesus first came to earth as a baby when He left heaven’s glory.

He will come again, signs in the heavens and catastrophes on this earth portend.

Let’s  live in the light of His coming.

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Nuggets – In Heavenly Places

In Heavenly Places
“Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 1:20)

This fascinating phrase (actually, the Greek simply says “in the heavenlies”) is found only in the Ephesian epistle, where it occurs five times. That it does mean heavenly places, rather than “heavenly things,” is evident from our text. Christ in His physical resurrection body is now in a particular place, and that place is where He is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

In principle now—and ultimately in actuality—we also have been made to “sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (2:6). In the meantime, however, we must also struggle with the demonic powers who still, like Satan, have access to God’s presence to accuse us of sin when we yield to their inducements. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places [actually the same phrase, ‘heavenly places’]” (6:12).

And when, by the grace of God and the indwelling presence of God’s Holy Spirit, we are victorious in this conflict, it becomes a glorious demonstration throughout heaven, to fallen and unfallen angels alike, that Christ’s salvation is genuine and truly works in our lives. All of this is “to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God” (3:10).

No wonder, with all these glorious events taking place in heaven, the apostle Paul introduces this epistle with a doxology! “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (1:3). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Nuggets – Jostling Chariots and Judgment

Jostling Chariots and Judgment
“The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings.” (Nahum 2:4)

This strange prophecy, found in the midst of the small book of Nahum, could almost be seen as a description of 21st-century freeway traffic! In context, however, the entire book of Nahum deals with the coming destruction of Assyria and, especially, its great capital, Nineveh. One of the most viciously aggressive and cruel empires in all history, bitterly opposed to God and His rule as Creator in the affairs of men, the Assyrians had been allowed by God to punish the 10 northern tribes of Israel, carrying them into captivity. But their own time of judgment was coming!

Under the preaching of Jonah, Nineveh had experienced a great revival, sparing the city its judgment for over a century. However, it soon became incurably apostate, worse than before, and its most vicious crimes were committed in this later period. Finally, God called Nahum the prophet to announce its coming doom. It was still another century before Nahum’s prophecies were fulfilled, but they were eventually accomplished at the hands of the Chaldeans and the Medes.

There is a possibility that, as is true with many other Old Testament passages, some of Nahum’s prophecies have a near and far fulfillment; the first in the ruin of Nineveh, the second in the great judgments of the last days. Some of the predictions (e.g., Nahum 1:5, 8) seem more appropriate for the end-times, unless they are simply poetic exaggeration, as many think. In any case, whether the jostling chariots fought only in ancient Nineveh or also prefigure lethal attack vehicles of the last days, the burning message of Nahum is that apostasy, violence, and cruelty eventually bring terrible judgment and utter destruction. HMM

From the Institute for Creaton Research

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Justice

images
He will bring justice to the nation’s

Look here, let Me present My servant; I have taken hold of him. He is My chosen, and I delight in him. I have put My Spirit on him; by this he will bring justice to the nations. – Isaiah 42:1
They came to him (John) and confessed that they were deeply flawed and needed help, so he cleansed them with the waters of the Jordan. – Mark 1:5
The demand for justice is loud and persistent in our world.
From the streets of cities, to those in the midst of terrible persecution, wherever people are not free to pursue life, liberty and happiness, the cry for justice continues.
We convene councils, conferences, pass laws, enact policies, elect officials and demand equality and still injustice continues to thrive.
But it was never completely up to us to deliver justice.
Even a government that advanced the idea of “liberty and justice for all” and designed a constitution to guarantee it, falls short of the reality of justice for all.
Dependent on flawed and imperfect human beings we are incapable of delivering what was promised.
But there is good news.
All that drives the injustices of our world and the power behind it has been defeated.
First in a desert, and finally on a cross.
All that is left is for us, is to realize we are “deeply flawed and in need of help” and bow at the feet of the One who can fulfill the promise of justice and truly make us free..
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Nuggets – Offended at Him

Offended at Him
“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.” (Mark 6:3)

There is many an individual who has by God’s grace found the Lord and has had a fruitful ministry in a place far from his hometown where he once lived a lifestyle of which he has now repented. Going home is difficult, for his former companions in sin will be there to oppose and tempt and disbelieve.

In the course of His travels, Jesus returned to His birthplace (v. 1), and although He had lived a sinless life in His early years, He was still only one of the local citizens, and this resulted in their prideful opposition and disbelief.

“And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?” (v. 2). As in our text, His local roots brought scorn and pride and offense.

Their unbelief (v. 6) seemed to limit His ability to work miracles (“and he could there do no mighty work,” v. 5), but such is not the case. There is no limit to the power of the omnipotent Creator! He is not limited by our feeble faith, but evidently He chose to limit His work as a way of reproof of their pride and unbelief.

Yet, note Mark’s casual mention of the healing of “a few sick folk” (v. 5). Such healings were in fact a mighty display of God’s power, a fact that Mark’s readers (primarily Romans and other Gentiles very impressed with power) would have recognized.

Let us not allow our modern-day familiarity with Christ and His power limit the honor and obedience that we return to Him (v. 4). JDM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Nuggets – The Ministry of the Saints

The Ministry of the Saints
“Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s.” (1 Corinthians 1:2)

This salutation to those “called saints” at Corinth (the words “to be” are not in the original) makes it clear that all who “in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord” are the saints of God. The word “saint” means “one who is sanctified” or “set apart,” having been called to serve the Lord.

That service is varied, and many striking figures of speech are used in the Bible to describe it. In the first place, the saints are “witnesses unto me” (Acts 1:8) and, therefore, “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20). The words and deeds of believers are to serve as an actual Bible to those who may not read God’s Word. “Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart” (2 Corinthians 3:3).

Christ applied the figure of candlesticks to the churches addressed in Revelation, with Himself in the midst (Revelation 1:12-13). Similarly, we are enjoined to “shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life” (Philippians 2:15-16). This light is not merely the light of a godly life, but the light of God’s revealed truth, for we constitute “the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).

In relation to Christ, we constitute “the body of Christ, and members in particular” (1 Corinthians 12:27) and have been presented “as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2). One day we shall reign with Him as “kings and priests unto God” (Revelation 1:6). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Nuggets – Our Understanding of Creation

Our Understanding of Creation
“Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.” (Nehemiah 9:6)

The Bible clearly states that God created the “heaven, and earth, the sea and all that in them is” (Exodus 20:11) out of nothing. “Things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3). The first verse of the Bible, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” could be paraphrased: God called into existence the space–mass–time (i.e., heavens–earth–beginning) universe. Evidently before creation, nothing now intrinsic to the universe existed at all.

While this teaching is clear, not hard to understand, it is hard to believe. Such ex nihilo (i.e., out of nothing) creation is so foreign to our experience that it can only be comprehended as God reveals it to us. We are taught that His creative work was finished at the end of the sixth day of the creation week (Genesis 2:1-4). With the exception of certain of the miracles of Christ on Earth, such creation has not occurred since, and we have difficulty believing it could happen, so foreign is it to our experience.

Our difficulty stems primarily from the fact that we are sinful creatures; our minds are hampered by sin. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Since the doctrine of creation is foundational to the rest of Scripture, we dare not neglect it just because it is difficult, and we dare not impose our feeble naturalistic reasonings onto the clear teaching of Genesis 1 and related passages, thereby reducing God’s power to mere human abilities. JDM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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September 18 – One Big Family

Help us love one another, Lord!

THE RIVER WALK

For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. (Galatians 3:26-29)

Read: Isaiah 28:14-30:11, Galatians 3:23-4:31, Psalm 62:1-12, Proverbs 23:19-21 

Relate: Sometimes it seems like the disparate pieces don’t quite fit together. My church here in Southeast Turkey is in many ways three different churches that all meet under one roof. There is an English speaking, a Turkish speaking, and an Arabic speaking service every Sunday. Even in the English service there are between 12 to 20 different nationalities and…

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