Week Twenty-Three Learn of Me
The story of the talents, found in Matthew 25, is told during the last week — probably on Tuesday — of Jesus’ life on earth.
God blesses each of us with funds to use. The servants with talents, 5, 2, and 1. The servant with 1 was not being punished. The Master knew the skills and abilities of each servant and gave them the opportunity to use those abilities and multiply them. What if the servant with 1 had used his abilities and brought back 2? He would have been praised with the others. Instead, the servant with 1 chose to embrace a victim mentality: My master will punish me if I lose what he gave me. Instead of adopting the mindset: My master trusted me with 1, and I will prove his trust well placed; I can do this because my master has demonstrated his belief in me by…
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Jonah: Two Stories of Miraculous Repentance
byJohn MacArthur April 19, 2023
This post was first published in March, 2015. —ed.
Though it has been highly romanticized as a Sunday school classic, Jonah’s three-day stay inside a fish was an indescribable horror. Lodged in the cramped and clammy darkness, he was likely unable to move and barely able to breathe due to the suffocating stench. The gastric acids of the fish’s stomach ate away at his skin, and the constant motion of the fish combined with the changing pressure of the ocean’s depths must have been absolutely nauseating.
Though attempts have been made to provide a scientific explanation for Jonah’s survival, it is best to understand this remarkable preservation as a divine miracle. The Lord prepared the fish to swallow Jonah, and He protected Jonah supernaturally. (Because the Hebrew word for whale is not used, Jonah’s host was likely not a warm-blooded mammal—making his agonies in the…
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The Top 5 Lies Christians Believe
By Nicole Cottrell May 8, 2023
The Apostle Paul wrote about the lies Christians believe:
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”2 Timothy 4:3-4
We are all susceptible to believing lies at any given time. The world is magical at presenting its counterfeit products as the genuine article. One would assume that because Christians are followers of the Truth, that we would be less susceptible to such lies.
The real truth, however, is that Christians believe manylies. We sometimes don’t even realize that they are lies because they are wrapped up so nicely with what appears to be a “Bible bow.”
There are hundreds of lies Christians believe, either collectively or individually. I…
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What is the significance of a rainbow?
To whom does the rainbow and its message belong?
To answer these questions, one must go back to the origin of the rainbow, back to when the rainbow initially appeared. Don’t listen to people today who seek to attach to the rainbow a variety of their own false ideas.
The first rainbow appeared around 4500 years ago. It was specifically installed by God and explained by God after Noah’s Flood. The Great Creator was explicit about His handiwork and what the rainbow means.
The Great Creator said this about the rainbow to Noah and to his sons following their departure from the Ark:
“Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you; and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth…
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He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear him;(Psalm 103:10-11)
A thousand years before the birth of Christ this was written by a man who was supposed to be under “the guardian” of The Law…David. We all reside in a world that lives on “cause and effect”. We breathe it, we seek it, we watch for it, and some worship it. Meaning some of us live in a constant state of apprehension, and anxiety because we are actively taking a tally on the “bad” that we do. We’re also taking notes on the “bad” others do as well. We then believe that God will punish us because we committed sin, and the moment we realize we’ve sinned…
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You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in Heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? (Matthew 5:43-46)
During World War II Corrie Ten Boom’s family was arrested by Nazis for hiding Jews in German occupied Holland. Her and her sister Betsie were separated from their family and placed in a concentration camp called Ravensbrück. Betsie passed away at Ravensbrück, but through a clerical error Corrie Ten Boom was released and just two weeks after her release all of the remaining women at Ravensbrück were murdered by…
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The Forgiveness of Sin and an Onion – Revisited and Updated
1 John 1:9 NASB
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I know this post is a little on the long side but it is really important so I hope you will bear with me.
I don’t know of another topic that causes more anguish than the topic of how our sins are forgiven by our heavenly Father. And I am acutely aware of how God’s forgiveness of our sins can be misrepresented, so as to infer that we can just go on sinning, as we previously used to do, before we became children of God, through being born again in Christ.
The Apostle Paul more than adequately deals with that line of thinking in Romans Chapter 6. What Paul is talking about here is habitual sin, something that we…
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879: How To Calculate the Correct Date of Easter (And What To Do If Your Neighbors Disagree)
In the year 55 B.C. an overconfident Italian with a habit of coming, seeing and conquering made his way across the English Channel and invaded Britain.
Then he went home and got stabbed to death.
His name, of course, was Julius Caesar, and Britain would be ruled by the Romans for the next 450 years, setting up a tremendous showdown in the 7th and 8th centuries over the correct method for calculating the date of Easter.
Britain was still a Roman province when Emperor Constantine made Christianity the official religion of Rome, and the British people seem to have largely accepted the faith. But when the Romans withdrew, sometime around 410 A.D, pagan tribes began to carve out sections of the old Roman province for themselves.
By 597, when Augustine of Canterbury arrived in Britain, most of eastern Britain was controlled by the pagan hordes, while the Roman influenced Britain’s…
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Welcome to the Weekend Roundup! – News & Views – 6/3/23
Thousands of Roman Catholics have visited the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles monastery in Gower, Missouri (photo above) to view the exhumed body of nun, Wilhelmina Lancaster, who died in 2019. It’s observed that the corpse shows few signs of decomposition. Many of the visitors will touch the cadaver in hopes of receiving a miraculous healing or some other blessing. It’s being claimed that no embalming was done on the corpse, but artificial preservation (sometimes done secretly) of “saints” or those being considered for canonization is standard protocol in the RCC (see here). The account of Lancaster’s corpse was the Catholic media’s #1 story this past week. We see in this tale once again how RC-ism worships the physical creation (dead in this case) rather than worshiping God the Creator in spirit and in…
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Dodging Rainbows and Shiny People
See, there's this thing called biology...
I have been busy doing exactly that, dodging rainbows. I would have simply minded my own business and gone on quietly doing just that, if I did not feel this pressing doubt about my freedom to say anything about it at all.
So here goes nothing. It’s not okay! It’s one thing to insist we just be kind to one another and love our neighbors, it’s a totally different thing to have this stuff forced upon you and in your face 24/7, many churches all decked out in pride flags and restaurants posting huge flyers on their door proclaiming how they affirm every possible sexuality and gender identity ever imagined.
We now get to do this for an entire month because people feel “oppressed” and must be “affirmed,” apparently by the entire world. Meanwhile, absolutely no one cares about the fact that I got to see a toddler’s transgender bathing…
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Dumb as a Rock . . .
I’m talking about myself here, so everyone else can relax. As I was driving into work this morning, I was praying, as I often times do, and it struck me about the core realities of the truths of Christianity that we have been given. Of course, there is no greater reality than God, our heavenly Father, His Son, Jesus the Christ and the reality of God’s Holy Spirit dwelling within us, for those of us who believe and trust in Him.
And for those of us who take the reality of God, as revealed within the Holy Scriptures of the Bible seriously, the contrast between that which is seen and that which is not seen, is cause for continual reflection and consideration, as we walk through this gift of life that we have been given.
I don’t claim to be any kind of a mental or gifted individual, I think…
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The How, Why, and When of Creation, Part 2
Genesis 1:4-5 John MacArthurApr 25, 1999
As you know, we have been doing a series in thelast several weeks on the subject of origins.Obviously this has alerted my mind to our societyand perhaps more sensitively than it has been in the past.And I think it’s safe to say that the lie thatthe universe as we know it today evolved is the most sophisticated,complex and highly educated lie in existence.It has, for all intents and purposes,captivated the entire world.It is believed by the greatest mass of humanity,at least in the western world.And even though it is impossible and irrational,it is nonetheless perpetuated with great force and with great academic effort.
Modern evolutionary theory has demanded and receivedalmost universal acceptance in the world.The theory that no one created the universe as it is,but that it came into being by chance and it progresses through constant changes,mutations and transitions upwardly from simplicityto complexity…
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‘Will Some Christians Become Blatant Demon Worshipers?, 1 Timothy 4:1
ByJesse T. Jackson May 11, 2023
Theologian John Piper was recently asked by Leland, a listener of his “Ask Pastor John” podcast, what the Apostle Paul meant in1 Timothy 4:1when he said Christians will leave the faith and devote themselves to “deceitful spirits and teachings of demons.”
“What does this look like? Can it really mean Christ-worshipers become blatant demon-worshipers? Or is this move far more subtle? Can you explain to me what’s happening in this text?” the listener asked.
CitingRomans 8:30,Pipersaid he believes that the Apostle Paul is teaching “that those who are predestined are called, and those who are called are justified, and those who are justified are glorified,” and for that reason “no genuinely called and justified Christian ever falls away into demon worship—not permanently, anyway.”
Piper believes that in…
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Treading Water . . .
Nope, this isn’t about me, although I can definitely identify with the feeling sometimes. Undoubtedly there are times when we think we are all alone and yet, this is not true. We forget that we who believe and trust in the Lord are part of the body of Christ.
Have you ever been praying and suddenly someone’s name comes readily to mind? I seem to be experiencing a fair amount of that lately. And sometimes there’s a particular sense of urgency, so I put some substantial effort into my prayer, for whom I am praying for. I’m thinking that God’s Holy Spirit knows things that I am not aware of, and wants me to lift that person up before God. It’s kind of like the body of Christ’s auto immune system, kicking in. Galatians 6:2 comes to mind: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the…
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See, there's this thing called biology...
Recently I have been a bit fascinated by spring cleaning, especially by people trying to get rid of things here in Wokeville. I don’t wish to hurt anyone or engage in too much mockery, I just wish to put forth the idea that religious shame, guilt, and feelings of unworthiness, are really not necessarily “religious.” I think they exist within us, they are innate to who we are, no “religion” required. Secular cancel culture and fears of cancel culture should make that truth self evident.
These sofa ads and flyers of late have just been a sight to behold. Basically they are desperate pleas for someone to come along and take this blasted sofa off our hands.We are worthy of being set free from this life burden. Like, it’s a from a good home! We are non smoking, vegans, and good people who support non binary and gender fluid…
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Making Your Mark
People may not articulate it or even be aware of it, but deep down, everyone wants to make their mark in life. Some ways are very negative, while others are positive, even God-glorifying.
In my city, as in many others, there are two very obvious negative ways I have noticed that people try to make their mark, quite literally, in fact. One way is graffiti, sometimes done by gang members as a way of marking their territory. In my neighborhood, there is only one time that I have seen graffiti, many years ago on what was essentially a faceplate over electrical wiring. However, in a couple other parts of the city, graffiti is much more prevalent, some of it gang-related. The other obvious negative way that some have tried to make their mark is by “burning donuts” on the street or in a parking lot, most often with a pickup…
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Gay Humility Month
June is Gay Pride Month. I am sure that those responsible for this designation care about gay people and want to help them, but I wonder if they know what the Bible says about pride.
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4:6-10)
They are actually advocating that gays adopt a course of action that will lead to their being opposed by God. If they do this, nothing they try to do will be successful. On the other hand God will show his grace to them if they are humble.
The rest of this passage describes how a person practices humility. A humble person submits to God and draws near to him. He cleanses his life of all sin, both in action and in thought. He mourns the sinfulness of his past life. Anyone who does these things will receive God’s grace and be exalted by him. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” One way of denying yourself is to believe what God says about how we should live and put aside your own ideas of right and wrong.
If you want to know more about this subject I recommend that you visit this site: https://www.firststone.org/
If you care about gays it would be better to promote the adoption of a Gay Humility Month, when gays are encouraged to do those things which will enable them to receive God’s blessings. And it wouldn’t hurt to have a Straight Humilty Month too. Straight people are just as guilty of pride as gay people are.
Be in the World, Not of It
By Michael Weis
“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. … Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:14, 17).
Change From Within
The above passage is part of Jesus’ “High Priestly” prayer for His disciples initially (John 17:6-19) and then all believers (17:20-26).
This is an important prayer not only because we see Jesus praying for us, but it also shows His desire for His Church. His disciples were in the world but not of it, as we are today. What did Jesus pray? He says that He gave them God’s word – God’s truth – and by that they – and we – are sanctified (set apart) from the world and appointed by God for His purposes.
God’s Word in tandem…
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The privilege of availability of christian books
Last few months I have been hearing so much need overstay the need for good books as resources for Christians.
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Facebook Cracks Down on Christian Content, Labels It ‘Hate Speech’
Frank Bergman May 21, 2023
Facebook has provoked a widespread backlash after the social media platform deleted Christian content and labeled it “hate speech.”
The issue was highlighted by journalist Billy Hallowell, a former Blaze writer.
Hallowell, a Christian, exercised his religious freedom by posting on Facebook: “Jesus died so you could live.”
However, despite his post reflecting one of Christianity’s core beliefs, Hallowell’s post was deleted by Facebook and he was accused of spreading “hate speech” on the Big Tech platform.
Hallowell shared about this on Twitter, backed up by screenshots, and a comment stating that the incident was “very, very bizarre.”
While such attacks against constitutional rights can sometimes be written off as an “error” or a “technical issue,” this wasn’t the case.
Hallowell followed Facebook’s appeals process…
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