How Change Happens

How Change Happens
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18
Change happens through crisis. God changed Jacob’s name, which means “deceiver” to Israel, which means “a prince with God.” And He did it through crisis.Realizing he had to go home and face the wrath of his brother Esau, whom he’d mistreated, Jacob became desperate. That night in his tent he wrestled with the angel of the Lord. And the change in his life didn’t come quickly or easily, because we’re told he wrestled until daybreak. But suddenly it dawned on Jacob that he was wrestling with God and he couldn’t win. Likewise God will let you wrestle with an issue you can’t resolve, to get your attention. He’ll bring you to the place where you must concede, “I can’t handle this situation. It’s too big for me. I need God!” If that’s where you are today,you’re on the cusp of a breakthrough. If you’re asking God to make you comfortable in the mess you’re in, forget it-it’s not going to happen. “As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:
So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.” Deuteronomy 32:11-12. A mother eagle will upend her nest and push her children off a cliff to teach them how to fly. Can you imagine what they’re thinking? “It’s my mother doing this to me!” And God will do the same to you. He’ll allow a crisis in order to get your attention. He knows you won’t change until your fear of change is surpassed by the pain you’re experiencing. Bottom line: The Lord -who is the Holy Spirit-makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image. ~Don Wilton

Irreparable Damage After reading I and II Kings, one sees that after King Solomon’s death, the kings that succeeded him were often less than desirable.  At least 26 leaders were remembered as: “…they walked in the sins” of another person, “… sinned and made Israel to sin …”, “… did evil in the sight of God…”, or “… did worse than all that were before him.”  Bad leadership has always been a problem for any country, including Israel. Sadly, in that time period, only six leaders were recorded as dong “… right in the eyes of the Lord …”, “right in the sight of the Lord”, or even “… according to all his father (a godly man) did”.  Further investigation of those six reveals that not all of them did all that was right.  They tolerated some sin to continue in their country, and did not halt all that was plaguing the nation. With early Israel as an example, we can see that godly leadership is rare. Of all the kings that wanted to lead their country in the direction God commanded, Josiah  (II Kings 22-23) was the most determined to please God and have Him bless his country. King Josiah rebuilt the temple, so the country could return to proper worship of the one God in Heaven; and urged the priests to inquire of the Lord what must be done. When Josiah heard God’s truths from the Word of God, he was convicted, repented of his sins, and was even more determined to remove sin from his country; so God’s hand would be on it. The young king committed himself, and the people also agreed to obey God. He cleaned out idolatry from all over the country.  Even the places of false worship were destroyed. Priests of false religions were killed. Houses of sodomites (II Kings 23:7) were destroyed. Witchcraft and occult practices (II Kings 23:24) were also “put away,” along with many other practices that were abominable in the sight of God. After all the “good” this king brought about in Israel, I expected to read that God was going to spare the country His due wrath, as He had done graciously many times in the past. Although there “… was no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might …” (II Kings 23:25) God did not stay His hand of vengeance on the land; all because of the great wickedness of a previous king, King Manasseh (II Kings 21). “Notwithstanding the LORD turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal.” II Kings 23:26 Horrified, I related that time in history to what is happening in so many countries today. Leaders, like the wicked King Manasseh, are also ignoring God’s law.  They are allowing false worship to continue, in many ways even giving it preferential treatment.  There is no effort to turn to God.  Abominations that are clearly forbidden by God are allowed and encouraged to continue. God is totally mocked, ignored, or forgotten. Even more frightening is that even if a godly leader did take the reins of a country, and do all he could to turn the country to God, and even have results; it may be too late!  Irreparable damage may have been done that has angered a Holy God! The sins of past leaders may have angered God so much; that no matter what moral and biblical changes are made, it may be too late! What can one do, when God is so angered at what was done by previous leaders and the people?  There is nothing that can be done, if it is anything like what happened prior to King Josiah’s reign.  A nation will reap what was sown by wicked rulers. Only God can turn His wrath away.  We certainly cannot make Him. “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Mat. 5:45 (Consequences often fall on the ungodly and godly, as rain falls on both). If a nation finds itself in the hopeless situation Israel faced in II Kings 23, individuals still must not give up and succumb to what everyone else is doing.  Christians must still stand for right and live righteously, and do all they can to change what is going on around them.   Although nations may crumble, individuals  must still determine in their heart to do what is right according to God’s Word. We must do right, no matter what happens around us. “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Rom. 14:12 “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Eph. 6:13  “No one gets away with any sin!”

THE GREAT I AM

  1. Jesus Christ Is The Bread Of Life.

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (John 6:35)

The World is feeding upon the pleasures of sin but they cannot find any lasting peace of heart.  Those who give their life unto Jesus will never hunger any more.  Only Jesus can give perfect satisfaction.

  1. Jesus Christ Is The Light Of The World.

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.  (John 9:5)

Those who are not saved are stumbling in the dark because they are of the darkness.  Men love darkness because their deeds are evil.

  1. Jesus Christ Is The Door.

 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.   (John 10:7)

Jesus is not only the Door, He is the only Door to heaven.

  1. Jesus Christ Is The Good Shepherd.

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.  (John 10:11)

      As a Shepherd, Jesus will provide for the sheep.  He leads, feeds, and protects the sheep and He gave His life for them also.

  1. Jesus Christ Is The Resurrection And The Life.

 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  (John 11:25)

In Jesus only, can we find and have life.  Men without Christ are dead in trespasses and sins.

  1. Jesus Christ Is The Way, The Truth, And The Life.

 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  (John 14:6)

Jesus is the only way into Heaven.  Nothing or No one else will do.

  1. Jesus Christ Is The True Vine.

 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  (John 15:1)

In Jesus, the Vine, we move and live and have our being.  Praise God for the I AM.

The I Am Of The Bible Can

Become The He Is Of Your Soul.

All you have to do in order to go to Heaven is:

REPENT,

BELIEVE,

AND

RECEIVE

 the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart.  Nothing else will do.  Jesus has done all the rest.  He has paid the price and now He invites you to come unto Him.  Will you repent and receive Jesus today?

Why I Believe The Old Book

Charles Naylor, 1920

Do I believe the old Book? Do I really believe it? My heart answers that I do. The deepest consciousness of my soul testifies that it is true. I will tell you some of the reasons why I believe it.

The Bible is the oldest, and still the newest, of books.

God’s book written in the rocks is old, exceedingly old — but God’s book the Bible reaches back still farther. It goes back not only to the “beginning” of this terrestrial world, but into eternity. From past eternity, its majestic sweep covers the whole range of being and reaches into the future eternity. It is, in fact, the book of eternity, and within its folds lie the grandeur and sublimity of the great unknown future.

It never gets out-of-date. Other books have their run of popularity and are forgotten — but the Bible never grows old. No matter how familiar we become with it, it is ever new. To the Christian, it never grows stale — but is always fresh and always satisfying. It ever reveals new depths that we fail to fathom, new heights that we cannot scale, and new beauties that enrapture our vision.

We read it over and over, and repeatedly we see new jewels sparkling within its pages — jewels that delight the eye and reflect the mind of God. From it, refreshing waters break out where we least expect them — and our souls are refreshed like a thirsty man who suddenly finds water on the desert. We may have read a text a thousand times — yet when we look at it again it opens up and presents to us a vista of marvelous truth of which we were before entirely unconscious.

What other book can do these things? When we read a book written by man, however interesting it may be, it soon loses its interest and its charm. We do not find new beauties in it as we do in the Bible. Its treasures are soon exhausted — but the Bible is ever new!

I do not believe that the Bible is man’s book nor that it could be man’s book. Its depths are too deep to come from the heart or mind of man; its heights are too great for him to reach; and its wisdom is more than human. It can only be divine.

The Bible is the most loved of all books.

Wherever the Bible goes, people learn to love and to treasure it above all other books combined. It is the one book that people love — it is the treasure that people hold fast even at the risk of their lives. In past ages when wicked rulers tried to keep it from the people, they could not. At the peril of their lives, people would have it. They underwent dangers and tortures, and shrank not from anything — that they might possess this wonderful book. It is not for what it claims to be — though it claims much — nor for what men claim for it — but for what it is to the individual himself that it is so dearly loved. There is that in the Bible which endears itself to the human heart — and no other book has that quality. Other books are enjoyed and admired and praised and valued — but the Bible, in this respect, stands in a class by itself.

The educated and the ignorant, the high and the low, all races in all climates, when they learn to truly know the Bible, and when they submit themselves to the God of the Bible — learn to love it and to delight in it and are enriched and blessed by it; and because I too feel this deep love in my heart for the old Book, I believe it. I believe that, in some way — it was made for me by One who knew my needs, and that it corresponds to the very essence of my inner self. I could not love it as I do, if it were not God’s book and if it were not true.

The Bible is the most hated of all books.

Not only is it the best-loved book, but it is also the most-hated book. No other book has had so many, nor such bitter enemies. I suppose more books have been written against the Bible than against all other books combined! Men do not hate Shakespeare nor Milton nor Longfellow; they do not hate works on science nor philosophy; they do not hate books of travel or adventure or fiction; they do not hate the other sacred books of the world; they hate only the Bible!

Why this hatred? It can be only because they find in the Bible something that they find nowhere else. What they find there is a true picture of themselves — and the picture is not pleasant to look upon. So they turn away their faces and will have nothing to do with it except to vilify and condemn it. They deliberately misrepresent it and write falsehoods about it. They satirize and ridicule it, using all sorts of weapons and all sorts of methods to combat it, and for only the one reason — that its truth pricks them in their consciences, and they can by no other means escape from it!

It is judged by a standard far more stringent than any other book. No critic would think of treating any other book as he treats the Bible, nor of requiring of any other book what he requires of the Bible. The more men hate God — the more they hate his Word. This has a deep, underlying reason — that the Bible is God’s book, and that in it there is so much of God himself.

The Bible has withstood all assaults.

But though so bitterly assailed through all the ages — the Bible has withstood the assaults of all its enemies and stands victorious still! The Greek philosophers, with all their skill, were vanquished. The greatest intellects of modern times, find themselves baffled before it. The sharpest arrows that unbelief could forge, have not pierced it. The assaults made upon it — have resulted only in the destruction of the weapons used. All through the ages countless theories — religious, philosophic, scientific, or other — have been used against the Bible, only to fall in ruins at last before it and to be rejected even by those who once advocated them.

The Bible endures an amount of criticism that no other book could endure — and instead of being destroyed, it is only brightened and made better known. Could any error endure what the Bible has endured, and live? It is the law of nature that error is self-destructive — but that truth cannot be destroyed; and according to this law, the Bible must be true because of its indestructibility.

The Bible tells me of myself.

My deepest emotions and longings, my highest thoughts and hopes, are mirrored there — and the more settled inner workings of conscience are there recorded. It speaks to me of my secret ambitions, of my dearest hopes, of my fears, of the love that burns within me. My desires are pictured in the Book — just as I find them working in my heart. Whatever picture it draws of the human soul — I find within myself; and whatever I find within myself — I find within its pages; and thus I know that it is true. No man can know me as the Bible knows me — nor picture out my inner self as the Bible pictures me. And since no work of man could correspond with my inner self as the Bible corresponds with me — I know that it did not come from man.

The Bible is the book of conscience.

It is as a mirror into which every man, when he looks, sees himself! It speaks to his conscience, not as a man speaks — yet with a potency unknown to any other book. It is preeminently the book of the conscience. Other books appeal to men’s consciences — but not with the appeal of this book. Other books mirror men — but not like the Bible. In the silent watches of the night, in the lonely depths of the forest, upon the expanse of the sea, or wherever man may be — how frequently is it the case that this book speaks into his conscience in a silent yet thundering voice — and before it, he is awed and silenced and oftentimes terror-stricken. It speaks to the conscience as only God can speak — and therefore it must be God’s book.

The Bible gives comfort and hope.

To what book do those in sorrow turn? To Voltaire? to Ingersoll? to any other skeptic? Do they turn to science or philosophy or poetry or fiction? There is but one book which is the book of comfort. The sad and desolate heart turns to its pages — and as it reads, the consolation of the Holy Spirit, which fills the book, comes into that heart, and it is comforted. It is as the balm of Gilead. It is as a letter from home to the forlorn wanderer. It is as a mother’s voice to the child. Friends may speak words to comfort us — but they cannot comfort us as does the Book. Its words seem to enter into our innermost sorrows with a healing touch. God is the God of all comfort, and it is the comforting God in this comforting book who comforts the soul.

It is also the book of hope. Sometimes man despairs, and he looks here and there for hope, finding none — but there is one book in which hope may always be found. It always has something to offer him to inspire hope with new courage. Therefore it is the hope of the hopeless. In the troubled soul, it brings a calm — brightening dull eyes and causing them to look beyond. It lifts up the bowed head, strengthens the feeble knees, renews the courage, and takes the sadness out of the voice. It is therefore truly the book of hope!

The Bible is the book of the dying.

A soldier, desperately wounded, lay in a trench. The shells were bursting around him; the bullets and shrapnel were whistling through the air; the roar of the guns shook the ground. He was going down into the valley of the shadow of death. Knowing that he must pass over to the other side, he reached into his pocket with his little remaining strength and pulled out his New Testament. Handing it to a comrade he said, “Read to me.” His comrade opened the book and began to read, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God — trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” A smile overspread the face of the dying soldier as he listened to the words amid that solemn and terrible scene. He closed his eyes and lay quite still smiling, then he murmured, “It is well.” And with a smile still upon his face, he passed across to the other side of the river of death.

For what book do the dying call? For just any book? What words do they wish to hear in the final hour? There is but one book for that hour. There is but one book which can throw light into that shadowy valley. That is the Bible. It is the book of the living and of the dying — the book of the sorrowing and of the hopeless. It is just such a book as the loving Father would give to the children whom he loves! It meets their needs in all the details of their lives as only God could meet it — and therefore I can only believe that it is the book of God.

The Bible contains the only answer to the enigma of life.

The “why” of life is found nowhere else. Other books tell us many truths about life — yet its depths and meaning find expression and answer in only one book. The Scripture interprets life; and he who reads the interpretation, knows that it is true because it is the story of himself, and in himself is the witness of its truth. Men have sought everywhere for the secret of life and the things that pertain thereto — but everywhere, except in the Bible — they find only darkness and obscurity and uncertainty. The Bible, however, speaks in no uncertain terms. It speaks the language of him who alone knows the only answer to the enigma of life. If we reject its voice — then we are left in a tangled maze, out of which we cannot find our way.

The Bible outlives all its critics — and is triumphant, when they are long forgotten. It has many times been pronounced dead, but still it lives. It has been called foolish — but its power is not dissipated. It has seen all antagonistic theories of the past, one by one, destroyed and rejected — but it still stands in spite of the critics, in spite of its enemies! Those who anchor their faith upon it — need not fear what voice is raised against it. Neither need they fear what weapons are brought to bear upon it — for it is truth, and those who fight against it fight against God and are themselves ruined!

The Bible is adapted to all people of every race and climate, to the high and the low, the rich and the poor, the learned and the ignorant. Of no other book, can this be said. It is the Book of books — the book of God! In it God speaks! My inmost heart knows that it is the voice of my Beloved, and leaps for joy!

My Substitute Guest

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, That whosoever believeth in Him Should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

I heard it said over and over again,

But not enough for me to repent of my sins

I said, “Jesus loves me,” and I kept on going

And yet He spared me to live on another morning.

I saw the Bible sitting there,

On the table, by the chair.

I’d read other books, but I let it lay

On the table day by day.

Story by story, I read on and on

Until finally the last novel was gone.

Then I picked up my Bible and wiped off the dust

I said “In God, I should put my trust.”

Deep down I knew I’d known Him once before

And He always seemed to be knocking at my heart’s door.

But I closed my mind and I closed my heart;

Jesus was calling again but I sought Him not.

I keep on reading as my Bible lay:

And I said to myself, “I’ll read it one day.”

Never thought what if that day hadn’t came

For I knew I only had myself to blame.

Then one day as I laid to rest

I stumbled upon a novel, The Substitute Guest.

It was about a family who believed in God

And I read this book with a nod.

This Christian family, their love and trust-

I knew for me-it was a must

When the stranger asked how this perfect love was so

They told Him of Christ, who’d so long ago

Died on the Cross for our very sins

That we might open our hearts

And let Him come in.

This stranger accepted Christ;

And so did I

And because He lives I shall never die.

For God knew my heart

But I didn’t know the rest;

It was He who came as my Substitute Guest.

And now I read my Bible everyday;

I try to live my life in a Christ-like way.

I never have to wipe my Bible for dust

For reading God’s Word is a daily must.

I thank Him for being so patient with me

And for destroying my sins at Calvary.

For dying that I might live.

His only begotten Son is what God had chosen to give.

~By Vanessa Winfield Gibbs

 

Nuggets – The Carnal Mind and Death

ChristianBlessings

The Carnal Mind and Death
“To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Romans 8:6-7)

This passage defines for us both the carnal mind and the spiritual mind, not with formal definitions, but by giving equivalent terms.

First, the carnal mind is identified as being “enmity against God” (v. 7), a rampant disregard for God’s law. Furthermore, the carnal mind is equated with death, specifically eternal, spiritual death. A physically living person may have a carnal mind, bringing with it a spiritual deadness and eternal doom. This also serves us as a working definition of death—being hostile toward God, or minding the things of the flesh. “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not…

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The Attractiveness of Sin

THE ATTRACTIVENESS OF SIN

People Praying

By Dr. David Staff

Years ago, my parents bought me my first serious Bible. It was a Scofield Reference Bible, King James Version, given to me shortly after I had trusted Christ as my Savior (August 6, 1963). I had bent the knee to the savior two months before I became 10. Three months before John F. Kennedy, C.S. Lewis, and Aldous Huxley all died on the same day (Nov 22, 1963). I unwrapped mom and dad’s gift, “the Book,” on my October 6th birthday.

Today, I often look at that Bible. When I can’t find it, I go on a hunt for it. I never want to lose it. I may just spring to get it rebound in a fresh, leather cover. I anticipate re-studying it some day when my (present) vocation becomes my (future) avocation.

FOOD FOR MY YOUNG HEART

My purpose is not to brag, but that Bible is indeed worn. Not because it is over 50 years old, but rather because as a young Christian I wore it out. Much underlining of verses from Genesis to Revelation. Many notes in the margins. I recall with indescribable but just-as-if-it-happened-yesterday joy how much delight I felt in its pages, how often I heard the Holy Spirit’s voice as I pondered the words.

Many discoveries. Some of them thrilling, others sobering.

I recall one especially sobering verse, found in Paul’s letter to the Romans. Chapter 7, verse 13. The KJV reads something like “so that sin might be shown to be exceedingly sinful.” That phrase never left me. In so many places in the Bible, key people found sin attractive. Israel at the foot of Mt. Sinai, Achan, Samson, David, the prodigal son, Ananias and Sapphira. With all those people, and countless others, sin never truly was or is attractive. Its bite is irretrievable loss and death.

Here, Paul said that sin in me misused God’s law to produce death in me. The point – sin is so sinful that it produces death from a source of life. More to the point – sin is exceedingly sinful.

I always believed that the Holy Spirit had spoken to me back then, and continues to speak to me today, about the nasty, ugly, putrid nature of sin. There really is nothing at all attractive about it.

DISCIPLES OF JESUS ARE VIGILANT

Os Guiness writes, “Evil is quite simply the most serious problem in human life, the most serious problem in the contemporary world, and the most serious problem for our deepest resort in life — our trust in God or in the universe that is our planet home.”

As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, who by his life, death, and resurrection, has conquered sin and death, we must never “come to terms” with evil. There is no truce with it that should be considered, and no friendship with it that can be contemplated. We must hate it. Call it what it is. Understand what it does. And flee to the One who has from it set us free.

“Wretc