Nuggers- Deadly Sin

Deadly Sin
“If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” (1 John 5:16

Many pastors and other godly leaders have been asked about this verse. Usually, the question is asked from a very personal perspective: “Have I committed this kind of sin?”

This reference does not seem to apply to the famous “unforgivable sin” (Matthew 12:31), since that sin is the final rejection of God’s truth transmitted to all humanity by the Holy Spirit (John 3:19; 16:7-11). In the context of today’s text, John is clearly writing and warning believers that it is possible to commit a sin that is worthy of physical death—a sin so obvious to others that the brethren are not told to “pray for it.”

There are a few such examples in the Scripture.

• The sons of Eli dishonoring the priesthood (1 Samuel 2)
• Korah’s rebellion against Moses (Numbers 16)
• Ananias and Sapphira lying to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5)
• An incestuous church member delivered over to Satan for his destruction (1 Corinthians 5)
• Those who have known the “good things” of God but have withdrawn after having “tasted” them (Hebrews 6:4-6)
• Willful sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth (Hebrews 10:26)
• Returning again to bondage after knowing the freedom in Christ (2 Peter 2:20-22)

All sin produces “death” (James 1:15), and all of us will die because of sin (Genesis 3:19Hebrews 9:27). But this deadly sin brings about the premature “execution” of a believer when he or she consciously refuses to follow known righteousness and instead chooses open ungodliness. May it never be so among us. HMM III

From the Institute for Creation Research



All I want for Christmas is ….

Grandpa's Stories for Young Boys

Eli had been fielding inquiries about what he wanted for Christmas for weeks. His answer this year was; “I need tools to make stuff.” That hardly gave an answer to those who had to do the shopping. Their response was pretty much always; “What do you want to make?” After that, the answer came “I guess just to fix things, and make them work and look good.”

We know this: that we were always a family of fixer-uppers. His Grandpas and Grandmas did houses, additions, decks, greenhouses, old cars, furniture redo, and re purposed and sold nicky-nacks. That crept into the DNA of all their siblings, and beyond.

The philosophy was;”Whatever needs work will find you, but you have to be always looking.” This, of course, implies the intense need to fix… but often the desire to make a few bucks now and then on hidden treasures.

All this may…

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Fitted For Heaven

I was always in the Christmas play at our church when I was a kid, so after the cast was selected for this traditional and familiar dramatization, we took our assigned roles as wise men, shepherds, angels or the holy family. More often than not, I was in the shepherd group and donned the standard bathrobe-esque costume and followed the other staff-carrying first and second graders down the aisle of First Lutheran Church of Lexington as the more mature fourth-grade narrator read from the 2nd chapter of Luke. The highlight of my role usually came as one member of a small, squeaky-voiced chorus as we led the congregation in singing Away in a Manger.

Now as adult and mother looking back, I imagine that it must have been something of a heroic feat for the teachers to get us to memorize all three verses of that traditional Christmas carol. (Because at our small-town church, we always sang all the verses of every hymn!)

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“Which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” I Timothy 6:15 
Calling God “sovereign” is just a fancy theological way of saying that the last word about everything in the universe ALWAYS belongs to God!  

It means that when the Lord decides something is going to happen, it happens–no matter who may oppose Him on the earth or under the earth. 

And it means that when God decides something is not going to happen, nothing and no one in the universe can make it happen. Or to put it as the Bible does: “What God opens, no man can shut and what He shuts, no man can open”. Revelation 2:7
God’s sovereignty is one of the greatest sources of a believer’s hope and confidence in the daily vicissitudes of life. And God’s omnipotence to enforce His sovereignty seals the deal.
This is why I keep a little scrap of notepaper in my Bible to always remind me not to despair about anything. The note says: “It is impossible for that man to despair who remembers that his Helper is omnipotent.”
As a believer in Jesus and an adopted child of God through Christ, I am never the victim of coincidence, accidents, or random fate. I am always safely in the hands of His sovereign omnipotence. And praise God, so are you! 

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Nuggets – Jephthah’s Daughter

Jephthah’s Daughter
“Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.” (Judges 11:31

The story of Jephthah has been a stumbling block to many who interpret it as teaching that Jephthah sacrificed his daughter to God as a burnt offering. As he prepared to face the Ammonite armies, he made the vow recorded in our text, if God would only give him the victory. His only child, a beloved daughter, was then first to meet him at his return, and so it was she who had to be offered.

It should be remembered, however, that Jephthah was a man of true faith (Hebrews 11:32-33), and he would never have vowed to disobey God’s prohibition against human sacrifice. The problem is that the Hebrew conjunction waw (translated “and” in our text) is very flexible in meaning depending on context. Here, “or” is better than “and.”

That is, Jephthah vowed that whatever first came out to meet him would be dedicated to the Lord: If a person came out (Jephthah was probably thinking of a servant), he or she would be dedicated to God’s service at the tabernacle, as Hannah later dedicated Samuel (1 Samuel 1:11). Or if an animal from his flock came out, it would be sacrificed.

His daughter, out of love for her father and gratitude to God for His deliverance from the Ammonites, insisted her father keep his vow. Since that meant that she, as a perpetual servant at the tabernacle, could never have a husband and children, she “bewailed her virginity” (not her impending death) and then “returned to her father” so that he could keep his vow, and throughout her life “she knew no man” (Judges 11:38-39). Instead of a strange tale of human sacrifice, this is the story of the love of a God-fearing father and daughter for each other and for their Lord. HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research


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Sins in the church: 2 Corinthians 12

Lord please redeem and restore us from our sins we pray and implant your love in our hearts. Amen.

Bible in a Year Blog


Today’s reading: 2 Corinthians 10-13.

Men are willing to admit that they are sinners, but not that they are sinning. – Ivan Panin, Thoughts

One of the most damaging charges brought against the church is the bad behavior of its members. A minority may put the whole body in a bad light, but the problem is real and it hurts the growth of the kingdom. It was a problem in the early church as well.

For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not…

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Christmas- A Season of Hope

Hope comes from unexpected places… Continue reading

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Nuggets – Confident Prayer

Confident Prayer
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (1 John 5:14-15

This is the classic conditional promise. Confidence in prayer is tied directly to the qualifier: “If we ask anything according to his will. . . .” It is, therefore, important that we understand “what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17).

Many surveys have verified that most people pray. All of those studies, however, note that a good portion of the prayers are directed toward an unknown “higher power.” It may seem obvious, but the first requirement for coming under the will of God is to “believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 3:23). Before God will respond to our “petitions,” we must be “born again” (John 3:3).

Jesus was once asked what the greatest command was. His response, quoting from Deuteronomy 6, was: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37). That internal and invisible love of the heart is expressed by obedience to the commandments that God has given. John records it this way: “This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3).

Thus, a simple formula appears. If we obey what God has commanded us (starting with faith in the saving work of Christ), then we are assured that God will hear us when we pray. Once our confidence is secured, we can know that God will respond to what we desired from Him. The psalmist states the formula this way: “Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:4). HMM III

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Nuggets – Carest Thou Not?

Carest Thou Not?
“And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?” (Mark 4:38

There are times when we have great problems and God seems to ignore our prayers, and finally we begin to wonder if He cares about us at all. There is no need to wonder. God cares about the sparrow, and He surely cares about His own dear children. If there is not some clear reason why He fails to answer (such as sin in our lives), then perhaps it is simply (as in Job’s case) a test of our faith.

When the disciples thought Jesus didn’t care, He rebuked them thus: “Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” (Mark 4:40). Mary and Martha sent word that their brother Lazarus was deathly ill, but then Jesus “abode two days still in the same place where he was” (John 11:6). When the sisters complained about His delay, He replied: “Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” (John 11:40).

One day a woman of Canaan cried out to Him for mercy on her for her demon-possessed daughter, “but he answered her not a word.” He seemed not to care, but she kept calling on Him and worshipping Him, until He finally said unto her: “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt” (Matthew 15:23, 28).

The disciples and the sisters of Lazarus and the Canaanite woman all wondered at His seeming lack of concern, but He did care. He finally calmed the storm, and raised Lazarus, and healed the daughter. His delay was in order to test and strengthen their faith.

Can He not also test us, “that the trial of your faith . . . though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7)? HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Facing death for Christ: 2 Corinthians 4

Lord Jesus, help us to die daily to self, that when we are called to die for you it will be a natural fit.

Bible in a Year Blog


Today’s reading: 2 Corinthians 1-4.

The words of Paul in today’s passage are hard to accept, for in them he seems to say there is a necessity of suffering – even dying – for Christ in order for the life-giving power of Christ to be shown to others. If so, it is a hard lesson to learn for those of us who have lived without persecution. If true, it may explain why our witness has been so weak.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given…

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