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Reminder: One-Year Bible Reading Schedule —

Tornado+Lightning

We would like to highly encourage you to read through the Bible each year, in conjunction with other biblical studies. That is why we have been posting this each December, even though it is the same schedule each year. This reading schedule has been incorporated into our online software, for KJV Bible reading and searching, that you can access for free without any advertisements or cookies.

We have tried several Bible reading schedules. There are some preferences that we wanted to incorporate into the plan, so we have made our own. Here are some of the features of this schedule:

  • It is designed for reading aloud.
  • The amount of reading is fairly consistent each day, about twelve to fourteen minutes, so you can reliably fit it into your schedule.
  • Each chapter is read completely, instead of breaking the chapter up across different days. We have found it to be distracting to keep in mind a specific verse number to end the day’s reading. When we know the entire chapter is included, then we can focus on reading and just check the schedule chart between chapters.
  • The chapters are isolated when they include many names that are hard to pronounce, so easier passages fill in that day’s reading. Consecutive chapters of difficult reading are on separate days, requiring less endurance of the tongue.
  • The schedule can be printed double-sided on a single sheet of A4 or US letter size paper.
  • It can be folded in quarters and used as a bookmark for the next day’s Old Testament reading.

We have been using this schedule since January 1st 2015 and it has worked well for us. We plan to continue using this plan for the foreseeable future. As we have done with other reading schedules, we make a pen mark on the date for today’s reading, then fold it with the pen mark inside, so the fresh ink does not rub off inside the Bible. By the end of the year, the paper is fairly well worn, so we just print a new one.

The Sky Is No Limit —

aboveTheSky

This article may seem long — less than a ten-minute read. It is encouraging. If you are hesitant to read such a long article, then please ask yourself this question, “How much encouragement do I want?”

It is very common for people to limit their plans and dreams, thinking that they are not able to accomplish so much. Others say, “the sky’s the limit” to encourage us to dream big. I know what they mean, and they mean well, but I would say the sky really is no limit!

What are the limits to what God can do? Jesus is the Head of the Body of Christ, The Church. It is The Church that God works through to carry out His plans on Earth. So, what are the limits to what The Church can do? If you are part of The Church, then there is not much limiting you, other than the barriers in your own mind. We are not to do evil, but God can do great good through us. That is how He works. The sky is no limit.

Throughout history, it has repeatedly been Christians that have changed the world for the better. God lets us in on His secrets. We can do things that have never been done before. We can make new discoveries. We can do all of these things to the glory of God.

Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

Becoming

The person you become, in the process of successfully achieving a growth lifestyle, is a better person. You will like yourself better. Others will like you better. Your life will be more rewarding in many ways. Everyone can find ways to improve themselves, and these are improvements that are especially valuable.

There are many areas of life in which each of us can improve. I am not saying I am a better person than you because I have learned this principle of life. It is like I am telling you about, for example, a restaurant that I really like, because I think you will also like it. Though it is more like a country than a restaurant, because you can go and live there.

Personal growth — becoming — upgrading yourself. This article will focus on two major factors that you can employ to enhance your growth, fulfilling more of your potential in life, and developing a mindset towards vitality.

  1. Daily Investments
  2. Taking Action

 

Daily Investments

If you were a full time student, you could spend all day Monday studying maths, every Tuesday studying history, Wednesday science, Thursday theology, and every Friday you could study art. That would work. It would work even better if you studied a little of each topic each day, even if you spent the same amount of time in total. Why is that? We know about a couple of the reasons, but there are probably more.

It is somewhat like learning to swim, while you sleep! If you knew nothing about swimming, then it is probably feasible to learn in a day or two, if you worked on it full time. That would be very fatiguing. But, if you instead spent a half hour a day, then your muscles would have time to recover from the exertion, and the lessons would be far more enjoyable and effective. Also, your muscle memory would have time to become established and integrated between sessions, especially while you are sleeping. So, this too would increase the effectiveness of the training.

You might have noticed, when studying one topic for hours, that it is refreshing to think about something else for awhile. It is like our brains need a rest from that exercise by using some other “brain muscles” instead.

When we spend some of our time on something, we are making an investment. We are investing our time. Some things are more important, some less. Some things are more urgent, some less. For many people, the vast majority of their time is spent on urgent stuff. This is understandable because those urgencies are in your face, or they are chasing you down, or they are fires that need to be put out.

When we consider time as an investment, we must do those things that are both urgent and important, or we will lose, but the return on investment is quite low. Where we get the best return on our time investment is in the important things that are not urgent. So, how can we invest more in that section? The key is to schedule time for it. You know for yourself, from your own experience, that when you recognise something important that needs to be done and tell yourself, “I will make sure and do that when I get some time,” that is the thing that never gets done, isn’t it? One of the beautiful benefits of scheduling time for important things, is that the very least important things automatically get pushed out of your life, because you don’t have time for them — you are booked.

Once you have booked time for the important stuff, you will find that, over time, fewer urgent things will be happening. This is because you are investing more time thinking, planning, reflecting, designing your life, which prevents many emergencies. You will never get to the point where nothing urgent ever happens again, but this progressive reduction in the need to spend time fighting fires will give you more time to invest preventing fires. Your life will progress towards more investments with better returns.

TimeInvestment

 

Taking Action

It is not possible to know the future. A plan, based largely on projections and estimates of future metrics, is worse than useless. It is counter productive to base plans on guesses about the future.

We do not wait until all of the lights turn green before we leave the driveway. We do not plan and document every degree and duration of every turn to get to our destination. It is best to leave the details to be addressed at the time they need to be addressed, rather than getting analysis paralysis and delaying the launch.

As any good military general will tell you, planning is critical, but plans are useless. Instead of a typical plan, we need purpose, values, leadership, strategy and, yes, preparation. Part of that preparation comes from the experience of taking action. As the following anecdote will address, we need to move forward in order to learn what we need for the next steps forward.

The Ford Motor Company did some market research to help decide whether it would be good to introduce a new feature to their cars. This feature was called power steering. Of course, they asked their customers. At the time, early in the age of motor cars, it was rare for women to drive cars, so they were asking men, “Would you like power steering?” Whether consciously or subconsciously, the men translated this question to, “Are you strong enough to drive your car?” So, they soundly rejected the idea and Ford did not introduce the feature. You know the rest of the story. Later, someone introduced the feature, as a test, instead of asking. Power steering was so popular that it soon became a required feature in order to sell a car. This is not an isolated incident. It has been found that this is the norm. Asking such questions generally does not work. Instead, take action with the purpose of learning.

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The One Eyewitness —

EyeWitnessNews.png

In John chapter three we have two testimonies that agree. One testimony is from John the Baptist about Jesus. The other testimony is from Jesus about Himself. Among other things, they agree that Jesus came from Heaven with eyewitness testimony. Both Jesus and John also agreed that this was something unique about Jesus. We do not have any other person who can tell us first-hand what they have seen for themselves in Heaven.

You may be wondering about those who claim they have been to Heaven during a short brush with death. We are not accusing them of lying, since they may sincerely believe they have been to Heaven. We can tell from Scripture that they are mistaken.

This limitation is especially to be expected now that we are in the New Covenant. We already have, in the Bible, the complete revelation that God is going to provide. There is no new revelation that anyone can give us, beyond what is recorded in Scripture, even if they could go to Heaven and live to tell about it.

Even this extraordinary man, that Paul mentions in 2 Corinthians 12, who heard some words in paradise (third heaven), it was not lawful for a man to speak such words. This is not a law that is going to be broken.

Jesus is the only person who ever will be able to give us an eye-witness message from Heaven. Everyone else who has received a message from Heaven, got it from a less direct means, such as visions, dreams, or visits from angels. The closest anyone has gotten to Jesus’ level of direct revelation is when God spoke to Moses directly.

This uniqueness of Jesus is expressed as a significant point. It is as if Jesus’ credentials are being submitted to establish His authority.

When Jesus said that no one had ascended to Heaven, He was not saying that no one had ever died and gone to Heaven. He was saying that no one on Earth can ever come from Heaven and can give you an eye-witness testimony about Heaven.

This somewhat justifies those who print the words of Christ in red in the Bible. Yes, every word of the Bible is from Jesus, since He is the Word of God. But, some words in the Bible need to be weighed, and Jesus’ words are absolute. Peter said some things that are recorded in the Bible, then Jesus said that Peter was wrong, for example. Nothing Jesus said was ever wrong in the slightest.

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Chronology Of Creation —

timeline

There is no special understanding of Scripture required in order to see that God created the world about 4000 years before the birth of Christ. It takes some research, but the accumulation of years is clearly accessible to anyone who believes the Bible is true. As for the nuances and details, the more you study the Bible, and what God is clearly meaning for us to understand when we read the Bible, the chronology just becomes even more clear.

There are some people who like to criticize the Bible and would like to confuse you into thinking that there are several Bible passages that cast doubt on the reliability of such a calculation. They are also the same people who do not believe we can trust God to give us His Word. They believe it has been lost, if we ever had it in the first place.

You can use the genealogies in Genesis to add up the time to the flood and beyond to Jacob, also known as Israel. There is no concern if someone thinks that these generations are not father to son, since the age of ancestor is given at the time of the birth of the next one in the line. We are adding up several generations, and the age given could be close after a birthday or close to the next birthday, so there could be an accumulation of error. This error would be far less than a century. Also, if you are familiar with statistics, you will know that the more numbers we have in the calculation, the less likely there will be a deviation from the average in the total. So, if you just add a half year to each one, the total will be extremely close to the actual historical amount.

Then we know the age of Jacob when he entered Egypt. We know they left exactly 430 years later. We are then told the time from the Exodus to the time when Solomon started building the temple in the fourth year of his reign. That adds another 400 years. We are then told the length of the reigns of each king. This length is not given from start to finish, but the number of calendar years that they started during their reign. So, there is no accumulation of error in this total. Not only that, but there were two kingdoms in parallel, so we have the lists from each that we can use to correlate an even more accurate accounting. Then we have the 70 year captivity. The final number to add to the calculation is the 483 and half years from the end of the captivity to the crucifixion of Christ. This number is both in the prophecy from Daniel and in the historical records. As you can see, there is no room for any significant quantities of time to be inserted anywhere.

Some, out of desperation, try to add deep time in between the first verse and the second verse of the Bible. This called the gap theory. They come up with some really creative fiction to put into this gap as well. This idea plainly contradicts the clear statements in Genesis chapters one and two. God started creating and did not rest one day until the seventh day from when He started. I have read the best explanations attempting to defend the gap theory biblically and they fail. Really, their only excuse is that they have bought into the the so-called scientific (atheistic) descriptions of history and they are trying to find some place to fit the billions of years into the Bible.

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Take Ye Away The Stone —

TakeYeAwayTheStone

Is it possible for Christians to drive people away from God?

The question here is not, “Can we persuade a person to be saved?” It is God who gives “the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6). The question here is, “Is there anything Christians might be doing that gives Our Lord a bad name, putting an obstacle in their way?” Jesus said, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18), but is there anything that we might be doing to hinder His work?

When He brought Lazarus back to life, Jesus said, “Take ye away the stone.” Why is that? It takes no miracle to move that stone, so that is our job. God is the One who brings the dead to life. Are we failing in our part of the job when we are inconsiderate of the way we treat people? Yes, we need to do what’s right, but how we go about it, our methods, can make a big difference in how people respond.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

For example, doing the right thing, in a heartless way, can be harmful to others.

1 Corinthians 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

The following are just a few examples of ways that Christians have been repelling people away from Jesus, rather than attracting them. Not that this was the intent, but this was the perception. Can we expect unbelievers to see through to the true intent?

  • Giving the impression that Christians are better than non-Christians.
  • Responding with trite answers to sincere questions.
  • Flippant responses to tragedy. Even though our words may be truly accurate, the delivery can seem cold hearted. This does not present the whole picture, thus it is misleading.
  • Confusing the message by using Christian jargon.
  • Angry or hateful treatment of unbelievers.
  • The way Christians mistreat each other.
  • Misrepresenting the teachings of the Bible (2 Peter 2:2).

As a side note, why did Jesus command mere humans to open the tomb of Lazarus, but His own tomb was opened by God sending angels? Good question. Perhaps it was because the tomb of Jesus was sealed by the government, so a Higher Authority needed to step in.

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Chronocide —

chronocide

Every moment of life that we live is a precious gift from God. We do not need to wait until we are diagnosed with a terminal illness before we can start to appreciate the value of another day or another hour.

You have a calling, a purpose, a mission to fulfil with your life.

When I kill time, it is like throwing away part of my life. It is like committing suicide one minute at a time. You could call it “chronocide.”

If you have some time to kill, please consider taking some of that time and praying for guidance regarding the calling God has for your life. Ask God to fan the flames of your desire to fulfil your purpose in life and you will never again have time to kill.

Ephesians 5:14-16
14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

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Dignity For All Daughters —

DFASPink2

Please allow us to draw your attention to a global ministry we hope will grow to bless many millions. Dignity For All Daughters is a pact to refrain from using porn, or sexual seduction, as advertising.

Why? Of course, we are not advocating scorn towards sons. There is something unique and precious about daughters of any age. We intend to commend noble firms that choose to respect those feminine qualities which are so often disgraced for commercial purposes.

It is easy to find examples of those who use advertising that is degrading to women. It is not so easy to find those who consistently treat all daughters with dignity. If you see an advertisement that is perfectly decent, how would you know they always adhere to this high standard?

The purpose of this public service is to certify, and publicly commend, that our affiliates consistently uphold the standards of feminine honour. An affiliate is either an individual, or an organization, who has officially, freely, and publicly affirmed agreement with the defined standards of Dignity For All Daughters.

Please see more at:
https://DignityForAllDaughters.com
https://www.facebook.com/DignityForAllDaughters/

Does The Bible Say To Use The KJV? —

KJV

Does the Bible say to use the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible?

What a silly question! Of course the Bible does not say, “If you want to read the Bible in English, use the KJV,” does it? No, this is not a quote from the Bible. If the answer is so obvious, then why even mention such an outlandish question? You could think about it this way. There are biblical principles for making such decisions. There are biblical reasons for coming to such a conclusion. Choosing a Bible version is not just a matter of preference. Maybe you have never heard that there are really good biblical reasons for using the KJV. Well, then you have come to the right place!

Job 36:2-3
2 Suffer me a little, and I will show thee that [I have] yet to speak on God’s behalf.
3 I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.

Many books have been written about this, so a short article could never do the subject justice. Please consider this as just an introduction. Thanks!

The KJV is read more than all other English language versions combined. It became far more popular than all English translations that came before it, virtually replacing them, and none have been able to take its place since. Some other versions do not seem to be such losers when yearly sales volume is compared, but the KJV does not have a close second when it comes to readership. In other words, When His Voice Is Heard for an hour in English, it is heard more often from the KJV than all other English versions combined. Even if it was not the most popular, we would be using the KJV due to its significant superiority. There are very good reasons to use the KJV, more than the ones mentioned in this article. There are some people who are not gracious in this regard, and hold disdain towards those who use other versions. Even though we highly recommend the KJV, we would rather not fight about it.

They tested it with the hammer and anvil, and they wielded a mighty hammer.

They tested it in the crucible with fire so hot that it destroyed the crucible itself.

They tested it with acid so strong that it rivalled any acid that chemistry could offer.

The King James Version of the Holy Bible not only survived all of these tests, but is now even more valuable as a result. The tests only served to increase our confidence in its trustworthiness. The increased value is not because the the text was changed at all, because it has not changed. Anyone who tells you that it has changed is not relating the full story. When you know the truth, you will be satisfied that the content of the KJV has not been revised since it was first published in 1611. There are good reasons for that.

Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

These men were called of God and this calling drove them for years and years to dig and dig and test and test and study and study with consuming fervour, scholarly intellect, proven evidence, and logic of mathematical precision. Included in this pursuit were the erudite students of the highest calibre of knowledge and understanding regarding the ancient Greek language used to record the New Testament, as well as the Classic English language of the KJV. They thoroughly established the trustworthiness of both the Textus Receptus source manuscripts and the translation of those into the KJV New Testament. The same was accomplished with the Old Testament by experts of ancient Hebrew. These men were not only the highest order of language scholars, but they were also unsurpassed as Bible scholars.

Over the centuries, this process has been repeated many times. If they are thorough enough, they keep finding the complete integrity of the manuscripts and complete accuracy of the translation. That is why the KJV eclipsed all of the English translations that came before it. Anyone who would ever rise to such a task, found that it had already been done better than they could do themselves.

Why did they go to such intense effort and invest so much precious time? Because they understood the same biblical principles and reasons that lead us to use the KJV. Because they were standing on these biblical doctrines, they knew their ventures would be rewarding.

  • God places His Word above His Name.
  • God’s Word is more sure than eye-witness experience.
  • God’s Word is our highest Authority and our final Authority.
  • God wants us to know The Truth.
  • If you sincerely seek The Truth, you will find it.
  • In this age, the only sure Truth is in God’s Word.
  • As God used men inspired of God to write the Scriptures, He also used men called of God to preserve the Scriptures.
  • Jesus Christ is God’s Word.

So, how do all of these biblical principles relate to the question of what English Bible version to use?

Psalm 130:5 In His Word do I hope.

There are two “camps” of manuscripts used as source material for the Holy Scriptures. One was a collection by those who believed in the preservation of God’s Word. The other one was a collection by those who believe God’s Word was either lost, or was never provided in the first place. The “preservation camp” manuscripts all agree with each other and represent, by far, the vast majority of all biblical source manuscripts. The “lost camp” manuscripts not only disagree with the majority texts in many ways, but also disagree with one another. For every truth there are an unlimited number of errors.

The Shakespearean play “The Tempest” was contemporary with the publishing of the KJV in 1611. If you think reading Shakespeare is not difficult, then you must be reading a translation. The reason it is so much easier to read the KJV than to read Shakespeare is because the KJV has had a profound effect of preserving a standard for the English language. The KJV has been the cornerstone of the English language for the last four centuries.

So, the reason there has been no need to replace the KJV is three-fold:
1. It is based on the manuscripts God preserved for us.
2. The translation is without error.
3. The English language has been strongly influenced by the very significant use of the KJV.

The only ones translating Bibles for the recent century have been those who use the manuscripts from the “lost camp.” They do not have a basis for authoritative results, so they keep coming up with new versions. This has been financially profitable for them.

By reading the KJV, you can have complete assurance that you are reading a faithful translation that God Himself has delivered to you. Even though the KJV is not a second work of inspiration,  it is a work of Providence.

Psalm 56:4 In God I will praise His Word, in God I have put my trust;

Job 37:2-5
2 Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound [that] goeth out of his mouth.
3 He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth.
4 After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voice of his excellency; and he will not stay them When His Voice Is Heard.
5 God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend.

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Bonus: We have provided free online software that you can use to read and search the 1769 Pure Cambridge Edition of the King James Bible, without any cookies or ads.

To Whom Much Is Given —

Overflowing-Cup

You may have learned some spiritual teaching early in your Christian walk. The temptation is consider such truths to be rudimentary, as if everyone should know them, simply because those truths are the first ones you learned.

As growing Christians, we will keep learning from God’s Word for a life time. The Holy Spirit will guide you to some truths from the Scriptures and will guide your brother to some other biblical truths. You would not want your brother to look down on you merely because he learned some truths before you learned them.

We are responsible for what we have learned. Not that we want to avoid learning, in order to avoid responsibility. On the contrary, knowledge is one of the most rewarding things life has to offer. Also, the responsibility that comes with knowledge is not at all a detriment, but a blessing.

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret [things belong] unto the LORD our God: but those [things which are] revealed [belong] unto us and to our children for ever, that [we] may do all the words of this law.

John 9:39-41
39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
40 And [some] of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

John 15:22-25
22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.
23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
25 But [this cometh to pass,] that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

Luke 12:46-48
46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for [him,] and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not [himself,] neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many [stripes.]
48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few [stripes.] For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Matthew 11:20-24
20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:
21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

Hebrews 2:3-4
3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard [him;]
4 God also bearing [them] witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

John 3:18-21
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Acts 17:29-31
29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by [that] man whom he hath ordained; [whereof] he hath given assurance unto all [men,] in that he hath raised him from the dead.

James 4:13-17
13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
14 Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
15 For that ye [ought] to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.

Romans 1:18-2:16
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed [it] unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
13 (For not the hearers of the law [are] just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15 Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Hebrews 10:26-31
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
31 [It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

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Peace Be To The Brethren

PeaceDove

My peace and joy remain intact during the most stressful situations, in the face of the angriest confrontations. To be clear, I will hasten to add that my emotions are not absent. This joy and peace is not a virtue, as it is a gift that has been given to me. There are many benefits that come from having this joy and peace as an anchor to my soul. It is a great aid to health; not only physical health, but also mental and spiritual health. It strengthens the immune system, improves digestion, and helps me get a good night’s sleep. I am more able to have good relationships, which is the number one factor in good health.

I have a secret. It is like having a deep rudder in an angry sea. It is like having a foundation set on solid bedrock. It is not a secret because I don’t want anyone to know, but because people don’t want to hear it. I would be glad to tell you, but do you want to hear it? It works, but are you ready to believe it? I would say it is because I am a Christian, but there are Christians who do not know this secret. There are some parts of this secret that can be apprehended by those who are not saved, but not all of it.

So, faith is part of the secret. It is not the faith itself, but that upon which my faith is based. For example, I could have faith in science, but the doctrines of science keep changing. As we learn of new discoveries, the old ones are discarded or altered. I could have faith in government, but that would fail me as well. There are corruptions in government, and only time will tell if I receive justice. My faith is in the One True God of the Holy Bible. He does not change. He does not lie. He does not fail us.

So, the object of my faith is unshakable, but what if my faith, itself, is weak or falters? I have faith in a Big God, but what if my faith is not big? “I believe; help Thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24). “Jesus said unto them … verily I say unto you If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, ‘Remove hence to yonder place;’ and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matthew 17:20). I call out to God, in my weakness. It does not need to be a long, drawn out, King James prayer, but I acknowledge Him in all my ways (Proverbs 3:5-6). If I have any faith at all, I can call out to God for help, and He will help my faith, so my faith will not fail. Then I can choose to walk in the Spirit so I can have the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.

But, what if I am so distracted, or so crushed, or so overwhelmed, that even that initial beckoning is delayed or absent. Worship is the key to establishing a steadfast link of faith, so that it is readily available. Meditate regularly on the glory of God. Job 37:14 “Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.” Isaiah 26:3-4 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.” Father in Heaven, I pray that you will reveal the brilliance of Your Glory to me. Please show me the perfection of your Power. There is nothing lacking in Your Strength … flawless … complete … masterful … eternal. Heal the dimness of my vision, so I can behold the supreme virtue of your Wisdom. Your Regal Judgement is altogether True. The Throne of Your Royal Majesty is the One to whom my allegiance is due. Your Crown is on high, sovereign above every power and nobility. My Lord Jehovah, you are the foundation of all my trust, faith, and hope, for You alone are worthy. Out of the perfection of Your Power and Wisdom, flows your Holiness, the purity of Your Love, and Thy Holy Word.

It is good to worship God, for many reasons. One of these reasons, is that it helps us to have more peace, thus less stress, and better relationships. Building your relationship with God improves your relationships with others. Having a closer walk with God helps build your faith so you can trust Him more, thus empowering peace in your heart.

The number one factor in stress reduction is salvation. What a huge amount of distress is caused when we don’t know what is going to happen when we die. Or, if we know we are going to hell. You can get this settled. It is not something to rush into, but it is also not something to put off. This life is your time and place to choose. The main reason for your time on this Earth, is for you to weigh this decision. The gravity, of this choice, is greater than the totality of everything else in your life. If you don’t think you are ready to make this decision, then I challenge you to pray this prayer, “God, if You are real, then reveal Yourself to me.” I dare you. What could it hurt? Think about it, if He is real, do you sincerely want to remain separated from the blessings He could give you?

Beyond faith, there are additional principles that help in gaining a sense of peace.

It is tempting to avoid stating the obvious fact that good relationships will reduce stress.

Some of the most powerful approaches to support inner peace and good accord with others are forgiveness, gratitude, and honour. I explain this more in a separate article.

Another valuable practise is to pray for peace. There is good stress, like a challenge, and there is bad stress, like worry or distress. The only time God wants His children to have bad stress, is when they are living in rebellion to Him. This stress is designed to drive you to learn the truths that will set you free from the turmoil. When we pray for things that are within the will of God, then He will provide them. Pray for peace, because that is what He wants to give. Are you ready for the blessings that come from living your life in accord with The Designer’s plan? There are some gifts God gives us, only when we ask.

Pray for your family and friends. Job 42:10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Read the Bible. Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law

Scripture meditation is an excellent way to seek, and find, peace. Psalm 23 is my favourite, for this purpose.

Psalm 23 A Psalm of David.
1 The LORD [is] my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Sometimes I notice considerable similarities between our gripes about this life and the fussing of a two year old child. I have some experience with those. Many times, while we are getting him ready to do something he likes to do, he is fussing, because he is not doing it yet. We, as parents, can see what lies ahead, so we can see the foolishness of his fussing. It doesn’t seem to help when we try to tell him about the fun thing we are preparing him to do. When we, as God’s children, consider the suffering in this life, we want paradise right now. Who knows best; the Papa, or the baby?

Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Numbers 6:24-26
24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

Ephesians 6:23 Peace [be] to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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