TL;DR

Have you ever seen the letters – TL;DR? They often show up in the comment section of a social media post or on a discussion group.  They mean – “Too Long; Didn’t Read”. When I saw this acronym the other day, it made me realize just how much the world has become so full of short blasts of information that are rich in graphics but often poor in depth of content. You know what I’m talking about, right?  Those swirly brightly colored sayings that pop up daily on Instagram, facebook or Pinterest. Simple, short pithy thoughts that may be true, but don’t give much real insight or guidance as to how to actually make the sentiment stick in your life.

It seems like that today anything that stretches beyond three sentences –let alone three paragraphs or certainly not, three pages- rarely seems worth the investment of time it takes to decipher the point and digest the author’s meaning. Occasionally when a lengthy article does make the rounds, it’s often preceded with an apology as in, ‘This is long, but worth the read…’ or ‘Regrets in advance for the length of this post.” While it’s great to have a take-away nugget to put in your pocket that’s less than 140 characters, (I mean, who isn’t busy these days), the increasing corporate lack of ability to focus on anything for very long has detrimental implications for believers that goes far beyond social media interaction.

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Nuggets – Wars and Rumours of wars

Wars and Rumors of Wars
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Matthew 24:6)

Christians are often chided because they are looking for the return of Christ rather than improving this present world. The fact is, however, that Bible-believing Christians have been largely responsible for such improvements in this world as have actually been achieved (elimination of slavery, establishment of hospitals and educational institutions, founding and development of modern science, advances in political freedoms, etc.).

On the other hand, Christ predicted that wars would continue despite His own death and resurrection. In fact, the prophet Daniel had prophesied over five centuries earlier that “unto the end of the war desolations are determined” (Daniel 9:26). For 2,500 years the prophecies have been fulfilled and will continue to be fulfilled until Christ returns. In that day, God promises: “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.” However, it is not the misguided efforts of secularists
and worldly minded Christians that will bring about this state of eternal peace and righteousness. “The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:7).

Our text is taken from Christ’s Olivet discourse, given in answer to His disciples’ questions about His Second Coming (Matthew 24-25). Climaxing His message, He said, “Then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). The wicked, warring nations of the earth all will mourn (not rejoice over!) His coming. In the meantime, He urges all true Christians to “be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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The Bad News They Need to Hear

images-8
The biblical call to love will never force you to trim, deny, or bend the truth, and the biblical call to truth will never ask you to abandon God’s call to love your neighbor.*

In this post-modern world truth is redefined as the need to make it fit a particular situation arises.
And we find the command to speak the “truth in love”  much easier to read than practice.
In Luke 18:18-30 Jesus did not allow His love for the rich young man prevent Him from speaking the truth, He did not sugarcoat the bad news the young man needed to hear.
In fact it was because of His love for the young man that the truth was neccessary.
Sometimes we try to make the gospel attractive at the expense of truth. Jesus did not.
It was necessary to expose the central issue of this young man’s heart (idolatry) to allow him to make an informed decision.
“If you want to follow me this is what you must do.”
Truth isn’t mean and love isn’t dishonest. They are two sides of the same righteous agenda that sincerely longs for the spiritual welfare of another.
In 1 Corinthians 13 we read
“Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things,hopes all things, endures all things.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:6-7
We often  find tension between “speaking the truth” to those who are caught up in sin, and loving them.
But real love finds no joy in sinful choices and lifestyles, that create unrighteousness that separates us from God  .
Instead real love rejoices in truth that Jesus proclaimed “sets us free”.
In reality if we are not willing to tell them the bad news they need to hear, (truth), we do not truly love them.
And our unwillingness reveals selfish desires in our hearts.
A desire for self preservation, to be liked, to not be criticized as judgemental, and harsh.
We must be willing to bear the burden of speaking the truth even when it is not popular. Believing, hoping, enduring for the sake of the One who loved, who died that all would know the truth.
Paul David Tripp writes
“Truth not spoken in love ceases to be truth because it is bent and twisted by human agendas, and love that abandons the truth ceases to be love because it forsakes what is best for the person.”
Amen
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Nuggets – The Beginning of Creation

The Beginning of Creation
“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.” (Revelation 3:14)

This salutation in the last of the seven church epistles in Revelation contains the last of four occurrences of the distinctive phrase “the beginning of the creation.” The glorified Christ here assumes this as one of His divine names. Note that even God’s work of creation, long since completed (Genesis 2:1-3), had a beginning, and that beginning was Christ. “In the beginning was the Word . . . . All things were made by him” (John 1:1, 3).

The first two occurrences of this phrase also come from the lips of Christ. “From the beginning of the creation God made them male and female” (Mark 10:6). This assertion by the Creator, Jesus Christ (quoting Genesis 1:27), makes it unambiguously certain that Adam and Eve were created at the beginning of creation, not after the earth had already existed for 4.5 billion years. God also wrote this plainly on the tables of the law (Exodus 20:8-11). Those evangelicals who accept the geological ages evidently reject this clear statement of the creation’s Creator!

Then Christ also referred to the end-times in the context of the beginning-times. “In those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be” (Mark 13:19).

The phrase is also used in Peter’s very important prophecy concerning the scoffers of the end-times who will argue (in willful ignorance) that “all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Peter 3:3-4), thereby denying that there ever was a real creation or real Creator and thus rejecting Christ Himself. But He is also the “true witness” and the “Amen,” and such denials will only be “unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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My Little Red Dot! 53rd National Day

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Nuggets – The Father of Spirits

The Father of Spirits
“Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” (Hebrews 12:9)

In these days when parents are urged by special interest and political groups not to discipline their children, and children’s rights are championed at the expense of parental authority, it is comforting to read in Scripture that the normal response to parental discipline is reverence. Thankfully, even most secular “experts” today recognize the child’s need for parental guidelines, reinforced by physical discipline as appropriate.

But this passage is primarily discussing the role of chastening father that God plays in the lives of His spiritual children. “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord . . . for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth. . . . But if ye be without chastisement . . . then are ye . . . not sons” (vv. 5-8). This discipline is “for our profit” (v. 10) and “yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness” (v. 11) in our lives. The natural response should be both “reverence” and “subjection” (v. 9).

In our text, God is identified as the “Father of spirits,” reminding us that God is Creator. “The LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him” (Zechariah 12:1). He who created all things, including the spiritual side of mankind (Colossians 1:16), recreated each spirit at the time of salvation (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:10; etc.). His wise and timely chastening is “for our profit” and has as its goal “that we might be partakers of his holiness” (Hebrews 12:10).

On this day of special honor for fathers, let us not forget to honor our heavenly Father. JDM
From the Institute for  Creation Research

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Are you in or are you out?

all or nothingWe considered all-or-nothing thinking a character flaw in our 12-step recovery rooms. It was considered living, thinking and acting to extremes. We often saw things as black or white. No gray. No compromise. No negotiation. If we didn’t win or get our way, nobody won, we told ourselves. We set ourselves up for failure down the road, or we developed an “us-against-the-world” mentality.

Along my sanctifying journey, God taught me that as authentic followers of Christ, we’re either all in or all out.  As large crowds were following Jesus, he turned around and said to them,

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26-27

Jesus gave a few of his followers the same admonition in Luke 9

He said to one follower, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord,
first let me go and bury my father.”
Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God. 
Luke 9:59-60

Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”  Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:61-62

To me, Jesus is saying we have to be all in or all out. Our entire lives–our families, our possessions, our thoughts, our jobs, our worship, our relationships, our money, our love for others–EVERYTHING–must be completely surrendered to Him. We can’t be His disciples if we’re looking over our shoulder at our past, or even what happened yesterday. We can’t go back.  We have to live and respond to Jesus today.  We can’t claim a different top priority in our lives. We can’t believe part or most of what Jesus says. Jesus wants us to believe it all.

Are we going to act all in all the time? Of course not. No one can. But Christ gives us His standard of truth that will guide us as we make the choice daily to follow Him.

It’s His version of an all or nothing life. We’re either all in or all out.

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Nuggets – The necessary light

The Necessary Light
“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” (Acts 26:18)

All human experience understands the relationship between darkness and light. Those who love wickedness crave the darkness to hide their deeds (John 3:19).

Jesus insisted that He is the “light of the world” (John 8:12). Now in His glorified state, the Lord Jesus—our King of kings and Lord of lords—is described as “dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto” (1 Timothy 6:16). This is not a mere metaphor. “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).

It is certainly clear in the Scriptures that those who have not yet been twice born must come “to the light” before they can ever receive the gift of eternal light (John 3:20). Indeed, the very process of “coming” is empowered by the drawing power of the Godhead Himself (John 6:44). No one who is “dead in trespasses and sin” (Ephesians 2:1) is able to come out of darkness on their own into the light without the supernatural power of the “light” Himself.

Once we are rescued from the darkness by the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus and “birthed” from above by the power demonstrated in the resurrection of our Lord, we who are so redeemed become “children of light” (1 Thessalonians 5:5). Thus empowered, we are to “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7) and have no “fellowship . . . with darkness” (2 Corinthians 6:14). With the “armour of light” complete (Romans 13:12), we can openly let our “light so shine” that we become a “light of the world” (Matthew 5:16, 14). HMM III

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Nuggets – Be Ye seperate

Be Ye Separate
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18)

The doctrine of separation from “the unclean thing” is neglected today by professing Christians, but it is still here in God’s Word. The context indicates that Paul is warning against Christians being “unequally yoked together with unbelievers” and urging us to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 6:14; 7:1).

Such separation does not mean having no contact at all with unbelievers, “for then must ye needs go out of the world” (1 Corinthians 5:10), whereas Jesus commanded, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). He also prayed to the Father, “not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil” (John 17:15).

He does demand, however, that we are not to compromise with unbelief or with the unclean thing. We are “born again” into the family of God through simple faith in the person and saving work of Christ; but the full manifestation and fellowship of our relation with the heavenly Father as His spiritual sons and daughters is evidently, in this passage, conditioned on the vital principle of separation from all unbelief and filthiness of the flesh, with Jesus as our example (Hebrews 7:26).

We are specially warned to “turn away” from those who, “having a form of godliness,” attempt to accommodate the naturalistic viewpoint of modern scientism within the Scriptures, thus “denying the power thereof” (2 Timothy 3:5). “Be ye separate, saith the Lord.” HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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LB 92… “A Colossal City In Space”

This bible study is all about Heaven, the everlasting Kingdom of the Good King and soon to be the home of His faithful followers. Get your Bible out and let the Holy Spirit impress you with the truths of this wondrous place.

Source: “A Colossal City In Space”

 

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