Psalm 139

Revelation – The letter to the compromising church in Pergamum

Revelation – The letter to the compromising church in Pergamum

For the church in Pergamum, being where Satan lives and has his throne means there will be plenty of false teachers and false prophets.  The question remains for this study though – were Jesus’ words a reminder, a warning or a wake-up call?

The same is true for us.  In a way, these words are for all of us.  Remember what Jesus said about Satan and this world.  The entire passage is important for us to remember and to live out.  It’s full of important things for us – the Holy Spirit, living as Jesus taught us, not being afraid, having peace.  And for this topic, especially verses 30 and 31 at the end, regarding the prince of this world – Satan.

Is not testing really a good idea?

Is not testing really a good idea?

Is not testing really a good idea?  You probably think I’m asking about COVID-19 testing.  Well, I am, sort of.  But only a little bit.  Mostly, I’m asking about something else.  However, looking at the question with an eye towards COVID does help come up with a valid answer for my actual topic.

Do we then really want to go through the rest of our lives with absolutely no idea as to whether or not likely to achieve that goal?

Is Covid 19 a modern-day Exile?

Is Covid-19 a modern-day Exile?

Is Covid-19 a modern-day exile scenario?

We look at the virus as a bad thing, maybe from God.  However, those who have read the Bible know that sometimes God allows bad things in order to bring about better things.  Or to wake up His people.

So, what if this is God’s way of showing us that we need to wake up?  We’re supposed to be living in this world as if we’re in exile – right here, wherever we are.  In exile from our Heavenly home.  But we’re too busy turning this into a false “heaven on earth” kind of thing.

And we’re falling in love with it.  And by doing that, we’re at risk of losing our real Heavenly home that God created for us.

Revelation – The letter to the persecuted church in Smyrna

Revelation – The letter to the persecuted church in Smyrna

We move on to the second of the seven letters in Revelation.  This time the letter to the persecuted church in Smyrna.  Jesus has good things to say about the church in Smyrna.  It’s a bit harder to determine whether there’s any bad news in here – at least the kind of bad news that the church in Ephesus received.  There were certainly warnings.  But whether things would actually turn out “badly” was dependent on how well the people in that church listened to and carried out what Jesus said.

Revelation - The letter to the loveless church in Ephesus

Revelation – The letter to the loveless church in Ephesus

And so it begins.  The first of the seven letters to the seven churches in Revelation. The one to the church in Ephesus.  Jesus had some good things to say to them.  And some bad things.  But then another positive statement.  The Ephesian church certainly wasn’t in the worst condition of the seven.  But then, it wasn’t the best either.  So there’s plenty to look at.

The title – The letter to the loveless church in Ephesus – is taken from the section titles in two different translations.  I chose to do that because I think it gives a a direction to start with while examining this letter.  Not that it’s the only direction.  But it’s one that people who did the New King James Version thought was important enough to include, as opposed to the NIV usage of just the location in their section title.

If God is here - Where is He?

If God is here – Where is He?

If God is here, where is He?  That question seems to have a lot of doubt built into it.  Not since God is here, or since God exists, but If God is here.  Not to mention the obvious doubt that God is here, since there’s no apparent evidence of Him.

However, there are people who end up at this site looking for answers to questions like these two:

What does God want?
Does God cry when we die?

These are people that believe that at least God is here, but maybe wondering whether he still cares.

demanding the meaning of truth

Demanding the meaning of truth – Part 1

Demanding the meaning of truth.  It’s from an interesting song – Freedom for the World.  Full of hope – like the title words, demanding the meaning of truth.  Also full of warnings like, if we don’t get it together we’ll be gone.  Not to mention the conclusion, Look to your heart and let love lead the way.  The irony is that depending on your point of view, the words of the song lead to wildly varying meanings of truth!  We will, of course, look at it from a Christian point of view.

Not the “nominal” Christian who tends to be little more than Christian in name only.  Or from the “average” Christian, who follows the parts of Jesus’ teachings that they like, and finds ways to rationalize ignoring the things they don’t like.  Instead, we’ll look at it from the point of view of the way Christians are actually taught to live.  A way that none actually achieve, other than Jesus Himself.

Do Christians really know what “Christian Hope” is?

Do Christians really know what “Christian Hope” is?

Do Christians really know what “Christian Hope” is?  In a word – no.

“Most of we Christians are blind to the truth of who we really are, and so are afraid to enter the valley of the shadow of death to find the light beyond it. Our hope is that we’ll find it in the next life and so remain powerless in this life, yes?”

from “Waking Up: To Who You Really Are (If You Dare)” by Ted Dekker

I really like reading Ted Dekker.

Although – sometimes it’s just so hard realizing that what he says is just a bit too true.

Blessed are the poor in spirit

Blessed are the poor in spirit

Blessed are the poor in spirit.  Seriously?  The poor in spirit are blessed?  That sounds so backwards!  It’s even more strange when it’s translated as happy are the poor in spirit!  It seems like it should be blessed are the rich in spirit.  And yet, that’s not what Jesus said.  So what did Jesus mean when He said what we now call the first of the Beatitudes?

Mt 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

When we read the whole verse, it sounds even more backwards.  How can the kingdom of Heaven be for those who are poor in spirit?  Isn’t it for the “good Christians” who are “rich in spirit”?

We believe in God. Or do we?

We believe in God. Or do we? (Part 1)

We believe in God.  That’s a common answer when someone is asked, “Do you believe in God?”  But, is that really true?  I’ve been amazed by survey results that appear to show a belief in God but so many contradictions in the questions that follow.  That’s the reason for the second part of the title – “Or do we?”  Unfortunately, I think I found my answer in this month’s Christianity Today.  It’s sad.  It’s depressing.  And yet, it’s also cause for hope – because if Christians actually did what Jesus commissioned us to do, it’s a situation we could possibly change.

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