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    Repost: The Times

    Friday, August 7, 2009, 5:24 PM [General]

    DAN ​iel:2:​21 "​HE CHA​NGE​S THE​ TIM​ES AND​ THE​ SEA​SON​S" ​​ VS.20 BLE​SSE​D BE THE​ NAM​E OF GOD​ FOR​EVE​R! and​ eve​r(for all time​s) For Wisdom and Might are His! He cha​nge​s the​ tim​es and​ the​ sea​son​s; He rem​ove​s kin​gs and​ set​s up kin​gs.​ He giv​es wis​dom​ to the​ wis​e and​ kno​wle​dge​ to tho​se who​ hav​e und​ers​tan​din​g. vs 22 He rev​eal​s the​ dee​p and​ sec​ret​ thi​ngs​; He kno​ws wha​t is in dar​kne​ss,​ and​ the​ lig​ht dwe​lls​ wit​h Him​! DAN​IEL:7:2​5 (THE MAN OF SIN REVEALED) VS:24 a​nd ano​the​r(kING) sha​ll ari​se aft​er the​m,--- and​ shall be dif​fer​ent​ fro​m the​ for​mer​ one​s, and​ he sha​ll subdue​ and​ put​ dow​n (3)​ thr​ee kin​gs.​ :25​ And​ he sha​ll spe​ak wor​ds aga​ins​t the​ "Mo​st Hig​h" (GO​D) and​ sha​ll wea​r out​ the​ sai​nts​ of the​ "MO​ST HIG​H",​ (an​d thi​nk to cha​nge​ the​ tim​e),​ of sac​ret​ fea​sts​ and​ hol​y day​s and​ the​ law​; and​ the​ sai​nts​ sha​ll sha​ll be giv​en-- int​o his​ han​d for​ a TIM​E TWO​ TIM​ES HAL​F A TIM​E (3-1​/2 YEA​RS)​ :26​ but​ the​ jud​gem​ent​ sha​ll be set​ by the​ cou​rt of the​ "MOST HIG​H",​ and​( the​y) sha​ll tak​e awa​y his​ dom​ini​on to consum​e it (gr​adu​all​y) and​ to des​tro​y it (su​dde​nly​) in the​ end​! :27​ And​ the​ kin​gdo​m and​ the​--- dom​ini​on and​ the​ gre​atn​ess​ of the​ kin​gdo​m und​er the​ who​le (he​ave​ns)​ sha​ll be giv​en to the​ peo​ple​ of the​ sai​nts​ of the​ 'MO​ST HIG​H";​ His​ kin​gdo​m is an eve​rla​sti​ng kin​gdo​m, and​--- (al​l) the​ dom​ini​ons​ sha​ll ser​ve and​ obe​y Him​!!!​!!!​!!!​!!!​ (forever and ever and ever) ALL TIMES!!!!!!!
    Get a Jerusalem Clock
    Jewish Myspace Stuff
    Television Revelation 21:1-4 I saw a "New" heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the "Holy City", the "New Jerusalem", coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride, beautiful dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the Throne saying,'NOW THE DWELLING OF GOD IS WITH MEN,AND HE WILL LIVE WITH THEM. THEY WILL BE HIS PEOPLE, AND GOD HIMSELF WILL BE WITH THEM AND BE THEIR GOD. HE WILL WIPE AWAY EVERY TEAR FROM THEIR EYES. THERE WILL BE NO MORE DEATH OR MOURNING OR CRYING OR PAIN, FOR THE OLD ORDER OF THINGS HAS PASSED AWAY'.
    Books Malachi 3:1- And the Lord (Messiah), whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; the Messenger or Angel of the covenant, Whom you desire, behold, He shall come, says the Lord of hosts...But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? BEHOLD HE COMES QUICKLY! He is not here for he has risen!
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    Thursday, August 6, 2009, 3:50 PM [General]



    2 Peter 1:12 (NIV)
    12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.


    I like Peter!  The Apostle, Peter, has given us lots of meat to chew on in the first eleven verses of 2 Peter, Chapter 1.  Just in case we forget to stop eating of this "meat," of God's word, Peter ends his discourse with this:  "I'm going to always remind you of these things."  He says he's going to keep reminding us even though we are firmly established in the truth we now have.  If we are believers, we all have the truth but we need to grow in that truth, as evidenced by Peter's plan for growing our faith in 2 Peter 1:5-7.  As we grow, more truth is revealed to us.  When that happens we will be firmly established in that truth that we, at that time, have.  We must stay established in the truth we now have but know that, in the process, we will grow in that truth.  There will be future, "now's."  Somebody has to remind us from time to time because it doesn't always look and feel like we are established or like we are growing!  We know it by faith.   2 Corinthians 5:7 (NLT)  7 For we live by believing and not by seeing.  But, it helps when we remind one another.  When we remind one another, we are also reminding ourselves! 


    I would like to be like Peter, not fearing the reproach of people if I remind them of spiritual things, even when they are in the straits of despair or pain.  Peter knew that there was something more than the present circumstances that we see with our eyes and feel with our emotions and bodies.  He was so sure of this that He said:  2 Peter 1:13 (NLT)  13 And it is only right that I should keep on reminding you as long as I live.  Peter was not going to make light of the needs of others to be reminded of the precious principles of the faith.  He does not remind us, nor should we remind others, in a judgmental way.  He acknowledges that we are firmly established in what we know now.  He just reminds us that we should constantly remember these things and grow in them.  He expresses, in his way, the profound words we find written in that tiny Book of Jude.  Jude 1:20-21 (NLT)  20 But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, 21 and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.  Peter was all about building you and me up by constantly reminding us of the really important things in life.  Peter certainly had good reason to do that.  He had failed miserably but Jesus built Peter back up with a few constant reminders!   John 21:15-17 (NLT) 15 After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.  16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.” “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.  17 A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the  question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know  everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.


    Peter received those reminders from Jesus and, although his past was filled with shame, he picked himself up and grew in the Lord until he was able to reach thousands for Jesus in his own time and end up being an encouragement to us in our time!  To us, he is an encouragement by reminding us of the necessity of growth in our lives.  He's not ashamed to do it either.  Some may not receive it and consider reminders as, perhaps, nagging.  But that does not stop Peter!  It should not stop us either, as long as we are telling the truth in loveEphesians 4:14-15 (NIV) 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.  15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.  I recently read a quote by Lily Tomlin.  She is not what we might call a "follower of Christ," that I know of.  Yet, even the world knows that God's principles work!  She said the following.  "I always wondered why somebody didn't do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody."   Peter knew he was somebody because Jesus had built him back up from a very low place.  He took that position of being, "somebody," seriously.  You and I are, "somebody," too!  We are the somebodies that God loved enough to redeem by the blood of His own Son!  Peter knew that his time was short on this earth.  2 Peter 1:14 (NIV)  14 because I know that I will soon put it aside (the tent of his earthly body), as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. Because, he knew this, he diligently worked to see that, after he had left this earth, people would remember what he told them about the Lord.  2 Peter 1:15 (NIV)  15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things. Most of us do not know the time of our death and none of us know the day and time that Jesus will return.  Then, there will be no more time for, "reminders."  This morning, if you need to be reminded of some spiritual things, will you accept those reminders and grow in them?  If you need to be an encouraging reminder to others, will you realize what Lily Tomlin realized?  You are the "somebody," that can do something about whatever, "that," is in your world that needs changing.  You can realize, like Peter did, that your words will live on and help others grow in the Lord even after you've gone from this world.  Are we being refreshing reminders today?  Will our reminders live on the minds of others after we're gone, constantly uplifting them and helping them to keep their faith? 

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    Wherefore Therefore

    Wednesday, August 5, 2009, 4:50 PM [General]



    2 Peter 1:10 (KJV)
    10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:


    It is always interesting when we find the word, "therefore," or "wherefore," in the scripture.  It, as we've heard many preachers say, is there for a good reason and we need to find out what it is there for.  It sends us back to what we've already read for a second look.  It urges us to be diligent to know what was said previously.  It usually advises us of a blessing or provides a warning that we would want to seriously consider.  That's what Peter is doing in 2 Peter 1:10.  He starts with the word, "wherefore."  The New International Version uses the word, "therefore."  Why is Peter using this word?


    For one thing, Peter uses the word, "diligence," in 2 Peter 1:10.  The, "wherefore," in this same verse may refer us back to 2 Peter 1:5, where he is encouraging us to diligently make some additions to the precious faith that God has placed in us.  In fact, Peter give us several additions that we need and gives us a specific order for diligently adding them.  In two short verses (2 Peter 1:5-7), Peter spells out how we should diligently add to our faith.  Let's remind ourselves again.  To faith, we add virtue, to virtue we add knowledge, to knowledge, we add self-control, to self-control, we add perseverance, to perseverance, we add godliness, to godliness, we add brotherly love, and finally, to brotherly love, we add charity.  Whew!  If we delve into each one of these things, we find a lifetime of things to continually add to our faith!  In 2 Peter 1:5, Peter uses a word for, "diligence," that means, "speed.."  In other words, making haste with eagerness, earnestness, and carefulness.  He's urging us to go to work and "take care of business."  In 2 Peter 1:10, Peter uses a different Greek word for, "diligence."  This one tells us to use that "speed."  We're to make an effort, be prompt to made the additions.  Even labor to make them.  It also indicates that we should study.  Peter is really into being diligent in spiritual matters.  Are we?  The, "wherefore," in 2 Peter 1:10 may just be there to remind us to be diligent to do those things Peter speaks about in the first few verses of 2 Peter, Chapter 1.


    Peter is all about us being sure of our election and calling.  He's indicating to us that, by diligently taking care of and adding to our faith, we can be sure of  the fact that God has invited and selected us to be His child and given us an inheritance of eternal life.  We can be sure of walking steadily without stumbling or falling.  He lets us know later on in 2 Peter 2:20-21 that, if we don't diligently add these things to our faith, we can fall back into the corruption of this world.  The picture he paints is not a pretty one.  We don't want to go there.  If we do go there, we can succumb to the teachings of false teachers because we have not diligently studied  these additions to our faith and diligently put them into practice in our lives.  The "wherefore," in 2 Peter 1:10 has an implied warning, but it also brings us encouragement.  It is there to point us to the fact that, if we diligently do those things he has mentioned before, we will receive a warm welcome into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Do you want that rich welcome into Heaven?  Do you want to hear your Savior say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."?  (Matthew 25:21)  Then, know that Peter's little word, "wherefore," is there to show you the way and encourage you onward and upward in your faith! 

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    My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:

    Tuesday, August 4, 2009, 4:02 PM [General]

    2 Peter 1:9 (KJV)
    9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
    You and I don't like to be lacking in anything.  We don't feel comfortable or happy when we are in dire need of something.  It is surely not God's will that we be lacking in anything that will make us spiritually healthy and improve our vision.  When we are spiritually healthy, the material things will fall into place.  (Matthew 6:33)  I like the way The Living Bible paraphrases 2 Peter 1:9   But anyone who fails to go after these additions to faith is blind indeed, or at least very shortsighted and has forgotten that God delivered him from the old life of sin so that now he can live a strong, good life for the Lord.  We walk a dangerous path when we have a lack of things in our lives that the Lord has already given us.  Such were the people of old who had knowledge, but rejected it.  Hosea 4:6 (KJV)  6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.  It's kind of interesting that Proverbs 29:18 lets us know that, without vision, people perish.  Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. The wonderful thing is that, throughout scripture, God gives us ways to have better vision.  He sent Jesus to heal the blind.  Not just the physically blind, but the spiritually blind!  Isaiah 42:6-7 (NIV)  6 "I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, 7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
    Do you want to be sure that you don't go spiritually blind or have very poor vision?  Vine's Dictionary indicates that the words, "cannot see afar off," has to do with people that are spiritually near-sighted.  They can't see the bigger picture.  They are too preoccupied in the affairs of this world to discern spiritual things.  How is our vision this morning?  If it is starting to dim, we can go back to Peter's plan so that we will have no lack of vision.  If you have read, and studied deeply, 2 Peter 1:5-7, you can get an idea of how to get on the track to better vision from the following paraphrase taken from The Living Bible.  2 Peter 5-7 (TLB)  5 But to obtain these gifts, you need more than faith; you must also work hard to be good, and even that is not enough. For then you must learn to know God better and discover what he wants you to do. 6 Next, learn to put aside your own desires so that you will become patient and godly, gladly letting God have his way with you.  7 This will make possible the next step, which is for you to enjoy other people and to like them, and finally you will grow to love them deeply.

    Peter may be suggesting in 2 Peter 1:9 that, as James said, "faith without works is dead."  James 2:26 (NLT)  26 Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works. We can't be a godly influence in this world without the additions to our faith that Peter explains, any more than we can operate if our body is dead.  What's more.  Leaving a dead body in the world will cause a great stink!  We don't want to be found lacking in the additions to our faith because, without them, we won't have vision.  Without vision, we will begin to perish.  Stink!!  God doesn't want stinky faith.  He wants us to be fully equipped with everything our faith needs to be a vital and fruitful force in this world.  Once again, here is the order by which we can grow our faith.  Virtue to knowledge, to temperance, to patience, to godliness, to brotherly kindness, to charity.  If you haven't checked out these things, in depth, it might be a good idea to do so.  Your vision will start to improve when you diligently study God's word.  2 Timothy 2:15 (TLB)  15 Work hard so God can say to you, "Well done." Be a good workman, one who does not need to be ashamed when God examines your work. Know what his Word says and means.  It's not enough just to study and know. It has to become practical in our lives.  James 1:22-25 (NIV)  22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does.  Lest we begin to think that our God is akin to a slave driver, we need to remember that He wants the best for us.  He wants us to have clear and perfect vision so we won't stumble through this life, get hurt, and even die.  And, He wants us to be blessed!!  James says that, if we do what we have heard, we will be blessed in what we do.  Sounds good to me!  Then, we surely don't want to be lacking in those spiritual things we need to live a blessed life.  The Lord, our Shepherd, has given us everything we need.  (Psalm 23:1)  Are we being diligent to receive everything and use it?  Everything is available to us today.  Let's not be lazy or indifferent, falling back into our old way of life and then be found by the Lord to be lacking!

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    All hope was gone...But Jesus

    Monday, August 3, 2009, 5:29 PM [General]

    A woman was there who had
    a sickness that made her
    bleed. It had lasted for 12
    years. She had suffered a
    great deal, even though she
    had gone to many doctors.
    She had spent all the money
    she had. But she was getting
    worse, not better.

    Then she heard about Jesus.
    She came up behind him in
    the crowd and touched his
    clothes. She thought, "I just
    need to touch his clothes.
    Then I will be healed." Right
    away her bleeding stopped.
    She felt in her body that her
    suffering was over.

    At once Jesus knew that
    power had gone out from
    him. He turned around in the
    crowd. He asked, "Who
    touched my clothes?" "You
    see the people," his disciples
    answered. "They are crowding
    against you. And you still ask,
    'Who touched me?' "

    But Jesus kept looking
    around. He wanted to see
    who had touched him. Then
    the woman came and fell at
    his feet. She knew what had
    happened to her. She was
    shaking with fear. But she told
    him the whole truth.

    He said to her, "Dear woman,
    your faith has healed you. Go
    in peace. You are free from
    your suffering."
    Mark 5:25-34 (NIV)

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    Monday, August 3, 2009, 12:44 PM [General]



    2 Peter 1:8 (KJV)
    8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.


    How much do you know about any given subject?  What have you done with that knowledge?  Even though we might be able to spew knowledge of certain things from what is stored in our brain, we don't always do something with it, do we?  That's not how the Lord wants our knowledge of Him to be.  He doesn't want us to gather knowledge about Him and about His Word and then not put that knowledge to work in our lives.  Just our knowledge will probably not win anyone else to Christ.  In fact, they may think us conceited and arrogant, even hypocritical, if we don't display what we say in the way we live and in the way we treat others.  Our knowledge of the Lord will bring us grace and peace!  2 Peter 1:2 (KJV)  2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  Peter prays that grace and peace will even be multiplied to us!  If we have grace and peace in our own lives through our knowledge of the Lord, we will certainly start showing it and others will want it too. 


    But, that's not all.  Peter has given us a list of several more things that we must add.  God is about abundance.  We must always be receiving and adding what He gives us and letting Him multiply it in and through us!  Here's the list of things we should be adding daily to our lives.  2 Peter 1:5-7 (NLT)  5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness,  7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.  If we are in the process of continually adding these things to our faith, Peter says that we will not be barren and unfruitful.  Are we barren when it comes to the knowledge of the Lord?  Here's the checklist. Are we idle?  Do we fail to yield a return to God of what He has given us in His word because we're inactive?  God has given you and me a precious faith.  (2 Peter 1:1)  James goes a little further to describe what happens if you and I have not added to our faith from the above plan given by Peter.  James 2:20 (NLT)  20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?  Yes, we have it, on good report, that our faith is useless if we are not adding those things that will spur us on to do something good with what we know.


    What can threaten to make us unfruitful?  One thing that can make our faith useless is to be entrenched within the cares of this world. Matthew 13:22 (NLT)  22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. We can hear God's word every time we go to church.  In fact, we can hear His word coming through radio and TV broadcasts that are designed to send the His word out.  We can hear it enough times to memorize it.  Even so, the worries and cares of this life or the temptation to compromise His word to get rich, can choke out that word if we have not been practicing what we have heard.  When a worry or care threatens you, what do you do?  Do you complain, whine, or give up?  Or, do you put the word of God to work in you and combat those cares by letting your enemy know that you're not bearing them alone?  1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)  7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. When we choose to cast all our cares on Jesus, others will see us going through instead of being stuck in our trials.  We will have spurred another on in faith or maybe even been instrumental in their salvation.  We will have been fruitful, even in the midst of our pain.  When we look around, we see fruitless people, walking in darkness all around us.  We used to be that way too.  Now God wants us to learn what is pleasing to Him.  To learn and then to obey.  That way, our lives will constantly remain fruitful.  We will be living proof of God's ability to turn a dry and fruitless life into a life that is pleasing and acceptable to Him.  If we don't want to be fruitless, we need to turn from close associations with those who do not bear fruit.  (Ephesians 5:8-11)  When they see our fruitful lives, it just may convict them and perhaps they will receive Jesus!  Jesus is where it all begins!  He cuts off those dead branches on us that don't produce fruit so we can be fruitful.  We don't have to be fruitless!  John 15:1-3  1 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.  The words that Peter has given us in 2 Peter 1:5-7  will help to prune of any dead branches on us that might cause unfruitfulness.  It will help us to remain in Jesus and not be lured into the world of darkness.  John 15:4-5  4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.  How are you this morning?  Fruitful or unfruitful?  If you have never asked Jesus to be the Lord and Savior of your life, you are unfruitful. You can ask Him into your life right now.  (Romans 10:13)  If you do know Jesus but you have been idle and useless, stop and remember that you are in Him.  Rest in Him.  Let His life flow through you.  Add those things to your faith that Peter lists in 2 Peter 1:5-7.  Apart from Him, we can't do a thing.  But, with Him, we can do all things, including being abundantly fruitful!  (Philippians 4:13)  When God looks at you, does He see any fruit? 

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    Monday, August 3, 2009, 12:06 AM [General]



    2 Peter 1:7 (KJV)
    7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.


    Years ago, there was a song sung by the vocal artist, Cher, that said that sisters and brothers needed to love one another.  There was also a popular song that told us that what the world needs now is love, sweet love.  These were not what we might call Christian songs but the theme was certainly scriptural.  In Peter's plan for us to grow in the precious faith God has given us, we have been seeing that we have to make an effort to add certain things.  Peter places those additions in a certain order.  (2 Peter 1:5-7) The last two on the list are brotherly kindness and love.  The world has the idea right, as evidenced in the two songs mentioned above and a whole host of other songs that we have heard down through the years and still hear today.  There is another song that talks about looking for love in all the wrong places.  That's what the world is doing.  We can see that if we just take a good look around us.  But, that's not God's plan for you and I, if we are believers in Christ.  God has shown us plainly that we are to look to Him first to find love.  We are made able to love God and others only because He first loved us!  1 John 4:19 (KJV)  19 We love him, because he first loved us.  1 John 4:19 (NIV)  19 We love because he first loved us.  No matter how we choose to translate 1 John 4:19, the evidence is there.  We are only able to love one another and love God because He first loved us.  While the world continues to look for love in all the wrong places, we need to look only to God and then let His love flow through us to one another.


    The Apostle, Peter, teaches us that we need to add brotherly kindness to the godliness we have already been urged to add.  Since godliness involves a God-ward attitude and doing what pleases God, we can be assured that, in our growth, we need to grow in affection for one another.  God so loved the world that He gave His own son.  (John 3:16)  He gave His perfect and beloved son for those who were still His enemies.  Romans 5:10-11 (NLT)  10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.   11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.  Because we have been shown such love, God asks us to show affection to our brothers and sisters.  1 John 4:20-21 (NLT)  20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.  Yes, God would have us love other believers us just as He loved us.  But, that seems to be a growth process.  It is what Peter calls, "charity," and it is the final addition to his plan for adding to our faith.


    In that process from simple faith to a faith that operates in unconditional love, there are many things we will work diligently to add.  The last two involve love, with the "agape," or God-type love, being the pinnacle.  Just before we get to the last one, though, we are to grow in affectionate love.   We need to learn to put others before ourselves.  As it is said, joy can be obtained in the following way:  J-Jesus, O-Others, and Y-Yourself.  Romans 12:10 (NIV) 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.  Someone has called it, "learning to play second fiddle."  That is not always an easy task.  Our flesh often cries out to take the lead. No wonder Peter said we had to be diligent to add brotherly love to our godliness!  When the Apostle, Paul, wrote to the Thessalonians about brotherly love, he made an interesting point.  He said they had already shown that love.  Maybe we have too.  But we can't get complaisant and congratulate ourselves on past achievements.  There's always more to add!  1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 (NLT)  9 But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other, for God himself has taught you to love one another.  10 Indeed, you already show your love for all the believers throughout Macedonia. Even so, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you to love them even more.  As Paul points out, it is God who has taught us to love one another.  He also gave us an example.  He did not love us once and then stop loving us.  He continues to love us, through our successes and failures, through our joys and our sorrows.  Paul told the Thessalonians that, after they had already loved, to continue to love more.  To show more and more brotherly kindness.  The writer of Hebrews says, "Let brotherly love continue."  (Hebrews 13:1)  Let it be a fixed practice.  Never let it fail.  When we see a brother or sister in need, that brotherly love should kick in and, if it is in our power, we should meet their need.  When we have added brotherly love to our godly way of living, we will be well on the way to adding what Peter calls, "charity."  That pure unconditional love toward God and toward His children.  Are we on the way?  Where are we on that list of additions to our faith spoken about by Peter in 2 Peter 1:5-7?  What the world needs now is love.  God's love.  Is our faith growing so much that His love is beginning to spill out and flow through to others?  Have we truly realized the love God has for us so that we can love Him back with that same kind of love?  It's a process and Peter has shown us the steps in that process.  It seems that the final frontier is unconditional love.  What have you added to your faith thus far in the quest for the final frontier?    

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    Comfort One Another with these Words

    Saturday, August 1, 2009, 11:36 PM [General]

    He who dwells in the shelter
    of the Most High will rest in the
    shadow of the Almighty.

    I will say of the LORD, "He is
    my refuge and my fortress, my
    God, in whom I trust."

    Surely he will save you from
    the fowler's snare and from the
    deadly pestilence.

    He will cover you with his
    feathers, and under his wings
    you will find refuge; his
    faithfulness will be your shield
    and rampart.

    You will not fear the terror of
    night, nor the arrow that flies by
    day, nor the pestilence that
    stalks in the darkness, nor the
    plague that destroys at midday.

    A thousand may fall at your
    side, ten thousand at your right
    hand, but it will not come near
    you. You will only observe with
    your eyes and see the
    punishment of the wicked.

    If you make the Most High your
    dwelling- even the LORD, who
    is my refuge-

    then no harm will befall you, no
    disaster will come near your

    For he will command his angels
    concerning you to guard you in
    all your ways;

    they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your
    foot against a stone.

    PS 91:1-12
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    Saturday, August 1, 2009, 1:50 PM [General]



    2 Peter 1:6 (KJV)
    6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;


    Have you been reading 2 Peter, Chapter 1, the first few verses?  If so, you will have probably noticed that Peter is providing us a method by which we can add to the precious gift of faith that God has given us.  There is a definite order in Peter's writing about those things that should be added.  Starting with the addition of virtue (valor and goodness), Peter says to add knowledge.  (2 Peter 1:5)  Do you suppose that Peter listed those things in this order because we need to be valiant in our faith and good in our ways so that we can use knowledge correctly?  In the chain of additions, Peter goes on to tell us to add temperance (self-control).  Someone who possesses knowledge but has no self-control may not use that knowledge properly!  Then Peter says to add patience.  Oh my, if you are like me, you might have to take a little more time with this addition!  This is especially true when we realize that patience is cheerfully and hopefully waiting.  I can wait, but not always cheerfully and hopefully!  If I have not added self-control, I won't do very well at being patient.


    Adding all of these things requires effort on our part.  It requires letting God do a deep work in us from the inside out.  You can't really hold any of this stuff we're supposed to add in your hands but our lives will definitely reflect the successful additions, as we work on them.  Today, we've come as far as adding godliness to that list.  What do you think of as godliness?  There are a few things that godliness isn't.  It's not what we or others look like on the outside.  It's not even a plethora of great works.  Jesus pointed that out.  Matthew 7:21-23 (NLT)  21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’  It's very possible that we or others can look great to the general public and be totally unknown by the Lord.  Why is that?  Jesus says it's because we break God's laws.  Godliness, as described by Vine's Dictionary, involves having a God-ward attitude and doing those things which are pleasing to Him.  It is not displeasing to Him for demons to be cast out and miracles to be performed.  It is displeasing to Him if we do those things without having added those things that Peter outlines for us to our faith so that all the glory will go to God for the work He performs.  We must come to realize that we are only vessels into which God has poured this precious gift of faith and that, as such, we are to add things to our faith that will keep us going in the right direction.  Things that will remind us that our focus must be upward first.  The Apostle, Peter, and the Apostle, Paul, both tell us the same thing.  We need to train ourselves in godliness.  1 Timothy 4:7 (NLT)  7 Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly.


    How can we add godliness to what we, hopefully, already have added in Peter's plan?  First we can make a decision, ahead of time, to do and say those things that are pleasing to God, even in the most difficult of life's situations.  Romans 12:2 (NLT)   Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Is it time for us to check the way we are thinking?  Are we letting God transform us into that wonderful new person?  The person who thinks the way He does, and, therefore, does what He would do?  Have you heard the saying, "I think, therefore I am"?  It's what we think about that makes us who we are.  The scripture tells us that what we are really thinking will eventually come out of our mouths!  Pretty scary when I think about some thoughts that cross my mind!  Because we have already added things like goodness, knowledge, and self-control to our faith, we can discern thoughts that are not of God and choose not to dwell on them. Instead, we can discard those godless thoughts and dwell on the thoughts that please the Lord.  Luke 6:45 (NLT)  45 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.  It's for sure that the true godliness that shows in our lives will come from a heart filled with godly thoughts.  God has already given us all the things that pertain to godliness. (2 Peter 1:3)  He has given them through His miracle-working power.  But, we must receive all those things that lead to godliness.  What is in our lives that may not be leading us in a godly direction?  Our choice of movies, TV programs, music, books, friends, certain lifestyles, places we frequent, even our choice of religious beliefs?  Watch this.  Here is a list of things given to us from the Lord through the Apostle, Paul, that will give us some good examples of what we need to watch out for these days in order to be adding godliness to our faith instead of letting ungodliness creep in.  2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)  1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--  5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.  These days in which you and I live are very close to, if not, the terrible days that Paul speaks of.  People in every venue of our lives are turning to ungodliness.  It's an uphill battle for us to be adding godliness to our lives.  Still, we know that God has already given us everything that pertains to godliness. And, He has already given us the victory if we will just step out and fight to take that godliness He has given and incorporate it into our lives!  Psalm 118:13-15 (NIV)  13 I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me.  14 The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. 15 Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: "The Lord's right hand has done mighty things!  This morning, you may feel that you cannot keep on going and still live a godly life in the midst of a godless culture.  God is the same today as He was yesterday and He'll still be the same tomorrow.  (Hebrews 13:8)  When you are pushed back and about ready to fall, He will help you!  He is your strength and your song of praise.  He is your salvation.  There will be shouts of joy and yes, even victory, coming from your dwelling place because the right hand of the Lord will uplift you.  Isaiah 41:10  (NLT)  10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.  Yes!  It's true!!  You and I can add godliness to our faith because it is through Christ that we find the strength to do so!  Philippians 4:13 (TLB)  13 for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power. God has asked us to add godliness to those other things we have been adding to our faith.  He will never ask us to do anything that He will not enable us to do!

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    Friday Night Humor

    Friday, July 31, 2009, 10:32 PM [General]

    A woman walked into the kitchen and saw her husband  crouched  down with a fly swatter.She asked him what are you doing? Killing flies was his reply..Oh any luck she asks....Yup three males and two females..

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