His Riches https://www.hisriches.com Oh, the depth of the riches of wisdom and knowledge of God! Romans 11:33 Sat, 07 Nov 2020 04:51:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.5.4 Spiritual Physical Exercise https://www.hisriches.com/spiritual-physical-exercise/ https://www.hisriches.com/spiritual-physical-exercise/#respond Sat, 07 Nov 2020 04:38:17 +0000 https://www.hisriches.com/?p=15333 Read More...

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“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:6
Of course, spiritual exercise (praying, studying the Bible, memorizing verses, Bible study, attending a place of worship, telling people about Jesus, etc) is more important than physical exercise. But why limit physical exercise? We should practice physical exercise since God’s word says that it has some value. Physical exercise is recommended by health experts to help keep diseases at bay. It makes us feel and look better. I had a frozen shoulder which is basically cured or kept under control by correct movements – the physical therapist told me, “Our bodies were meant to move.”
I want to present an idea (I feel from the Holy Spirit) in case you want to do something similar. I spend 1 ½ to 2 hours a day doing exercises – taking Sundays off except walking for 30 minutes. I do the exercises to Bible verses instead of counting.
Because it would be too long to include every exercise and every Bible verse, I will just include some exercises but will record all the Bible references. I use the 1984 New International Bible except in a few cases. That was the Bible edition I started with and I prefer consistency. Feel free to use your preferred Bible addition, Bible verses and exercises.

I do a few exercises when I first get up (before a bath). These are recorded.

MATTHEW 6:9-13
This is the only exercise in the King James Version – I learned as a child.
I lay down on a mat and bring my right knee to my chest with my left leg straight:
“…Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name…”
I bring my left knee to chest:
“… Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”
Right knee to chest:
“…Give us this day our daily bread…”
Left knee to chest:
“… Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors…”
Right knee to chest:
“… And lead us not into temptation…”
Left knee to chest:
“… but deliver us from evil…”
Right knee to chest:
“…for thine is the kingdom…”
Left knee to chest:
“…and the power…”
Right knee to chest:
“…and the glory…”
Left knee to chest:
“…forever. Amen”

GALATIANS 5:22-23
I stretch on the mat with my arms over my head and my legs straight, flexing in ankles and my wrists up and down:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is…”
I stretch as far as I can from one side to the other, still lying on the mat with arms overhead:
“…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

PSALM 19-7-19
I bend my knees and press my back into the mat:
“The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul…”
I stretch my knees to opposite sides:
“…The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple…”
I bring both knees to the left side as far as possible while lying on the mat:
“…The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart…”
I bring both knees to the right side as far as possible:
“…The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes…”
I bring both knees to the left side as far as possible:
“…The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever…”
I bring both knees to the right side as far as possible:
“…The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous…”
I bring both knees to the left side as far as possible:
“They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold…”
I bring both knees to the right side as far as possible:
“…they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb…”
I bring both knees to the left side as far as possible:
“…By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward…”
I bring both knees to the right side as far as possible:
“…Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults…”
I bring both knees to the left side as far as possible:
“…Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. …’
I bring both knees to right side as far as possible:
“…Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression…”
I bring both knees to the left side as far as possible:
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight…”
I bring both knees to the right side as far as possible:
“…O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

1 JOHN 5:14-15
I bring both my knees to my chest and hold:
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”

PHILIPPIANS 4:4-8
With my back pressed into the mat I put my right ankle over my left knee while bringing my left knee as close to my chest as possible and hold:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus…”
With my back pressed into the mat I put my left ankle over my right knee while bringing my left knee as close to my chest as possible and hold:
“…Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

ROMANS 8:26-27
Lying on mat I bring my right arm above my head with my right leg straight and my left knee bent, then at same time as bringing my right arm to my side, I bring my left arm above my head, straighten my left leg bending my right leg. I do this exercise over and over while saying this verse a couple times:
“…In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”

COLOSSIANS 4:2-6
I stand straight, bring my shoulders up, then back, then down with my shoulders as far back as possible, then to my sides and repeat this exercise and this verse five times:
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should…”
I repeat this exercise five times with this part of the verse:
“… Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” 

Following are the Bible verses I use. These have taken me several years to memorize and align them with exercises I want to add. It helps me to remember these verses by saying them every day. I often pray for what or whom these verses remind.

Some of these verses I need to hear and apply every day. For instance:
JAMES 1:2-7
I hold small weights and lift my arms overhead and back down several times:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”

OLD TESTAMENT verses for exercises:
2 CHRONICLES 7:14, 2 SAMUEL 22:33-37 & PSALMS 18:32-36, PSALM 16:1-11, PSALM 23, PSALM 37:4, PSALM 51:1-17, PSALM 73:23-26, PSALM 81:13-16, PSALM 91, PSALM 92:21-25, PSALM 118:28-29, PSALM 119:1-20, PSALM 119:32-34, PSALM 119:125, PROVERBS 2:1-12, PROVERBS 3:5-6, PROVERBS 4:20-23, PROVERBS 14:30,
PROVERBS 15-13, PROVERBS 15:15, Proverbs 15:30 , PROVERBS 16:24, Proverbs 16:24, PROVERBS 17:22, PROVERBS 24:10-11, PROVERBS 29:4, ISAIAH 26:3,ISAIAH 30:15, ISAIAH 40:28-31, ISAIAH 50:10, JEREMIAH 12:5, JEREMIAH 17:14, HABAKKUK 3:17-19

NEW TESTAMENT verses for exercises:
MATTHEW 5:3-12, LUKE 11:13, JOHN 1:1-5, JOHN 1:10-14, ROMANS 8:1-6, ROMANS 8:28, ROMANS 11:33-36,
ROMANS 12:1-2, 1 CORINTHIANS 10:12-13, 1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-7, 2 CORINTHIANS 10:3-6, 2 CORINTHIANS 12:9-10, EPHESIANS 1:13-14, EPHESIANS 1:15-19, EPHESIANS 2:8-10, EPHESIANS 3:16-21, EPHESIANS 5:15-17, EPHESIANS 6:10-20, , COLOSSIANS 3:1-4, COLOSSIANS 4:2-6,
TITUS 2:3-5, TITUS 2:11-14, JAMES 5:13-20, 1 PETER 1:3-9, 1 PETER 4:1-2, 2 PETER 1:3-11,

God bless!

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Children Crusade https://www.hisriches.com/children-crusade/ https://www.hisriches.com/children-crusade/#comments Sun, 01 Nov 2020 06:00:56 +0000 https://www.hisriches.com/?p=15293 Read More...

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I’m writing this twenty-eight years after it happened with only my memory and a short passage about each day in my diary. Many of the details aren’t available.
In 1992 Jim and I with our teenage children Scott and Jill lived in Hay River, NT. Jim worked with computers in the H.H. William,s Memorial hospital run by the Pentecostal Sub-Artic Mission. At that time the Sub-Artic Mission gained the money to support northern mission stations by using the salary of employees while giving them a living allowance.
We attended the Hay River Chapel where a large percentage were Mission employees. Each year the Chapel would hold a children’s crusade. A group would come with special lights, singing and a message. Usually a few children accepted Jesus as their savior. This year no group was coming because we had no regular pastor. We did have an interim pastor – Pastor Verviski.
One Wednesday evening after Bible study, I had the idea of organizing a children’s crusade. I remember walking to the parsonage and praying about what to say. I presented my idea, and Pastor Verviski said he would ask the Chapel board.
In a couple weeks Pastor Verviski said the board had approved and would let me spend up to $200.
I planned the Children’s Crusade for Tuesday August 4 through Friday August 7. The theme was, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 The verse was divided into -four parts – one part to emphasize each day: Tuesday: “For God so loved the world…”, Wednesday: “…that he gave his one and only Son…”, Thursday: “…that whoever believes in him…” Friday: “…shall not perish but have eternal life…”. Of course, it was not possible for those sections of the verse not to overlap, but this gave a general idea to follow.
Andre, a short Frenchman. went around town as a clown, handing out flyers advertising the Crusade.
Tuesday evening, August 4, fifty-five children came.
Trevor led songs. His mother Ruth, a nurse at the hospital, was “on Mission” which means she was employed by the Mission. Soon after she married, her husband told her he decided to become Jehovah Witness. It deeply hurt Ruth who is a committed Christian. She cried for a week until she felt the Lord touch her shoulder and knew everything would be alright. Her joyful appearance was a vibrant witness at the Jehovah Witness events she attended. She had to watch their two sons go “witnessing” with her husband. Their oldest son gave up on all religion, but the youngest son, Trevor, was gloriously shaved and had the same charisma as his mother. He was home from college for part of the summer of 1992.
Our son, Scott, played the drums. Dan was on the piano.
Dr. Hugo Bertozzi and his wife Arlene told the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).
Brian and Jason (who belonged to the youth group with Scott) used puppets.
Ninnie, the Sub Artic Mission director’s wife, played a game with the children – like bingo using Bible questions, on a big poster board elevated so the children could see.
Trevor gave a 15-minute message.
Jim and I had lots of tracts, we gave one to each children.
Arla, a Chapel board member’s wife, usually made the snacks. She charged a little for snack ingredients – the only money the Crusade cost.
Wednesday August 5, Lynn told the story. Lynn was a nurse “on Mission”. I helped her teach in the Reserve school every other week during the school year. She did an excellent job with the hard-to-control students. She understood them having been a rebellious teenager herself and on drugs. Her roommate, Nadine, also a nurse, taught every other week when Lynn was working. I helped her, also, although I wouldn’t have been able to handle the children the way Lynn and Nadine could.
Trevor gave the message.
I made banana oatmeal cookies for the snack and we had tracts for the children.
Thursday August 6, Andre and Trevor were clowns.
Lynn told the story of Zacchaeus.
Trevor gave the message. I remember him telling me he was sorry not to give an invitation for the children to accept Jesus. I said “Just do what the Lord tells you.”
I made carob custard cookies and we gave a tract to each child.
Scott made a banner for the Crusade, which we put up after the meeting that night.
Friday August 7, Ruth told the story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den. Ruth was a nurse “on Misssion”. Our daughter Jill, often babysat her daughter Amanda.
Laura played a tape using John 3:16. I got to be friends with Laura at a woman’s meeting. I was at the meeting, not knowing what to do with myself, when the thought came to me, “the main purpose of a women’s meeting is to get to know other women” so I looked around and no one was talking to Laura. I talked to her. She is still a good friend. I asked her to be on the local radio station which I was on, and she said “Yes” even thought at the time and for several years she was very busy being in charge of the Hay River Soup Kitchen.
Trevor gave the message. Thirty-six children accepted Jesus as their savior that evening – all but one girl who came for the first time that evening. We had a bible for each of them.
We were all so excited. I did nothing but organize the Crusade. When we work together and each of us does our part, great things can be accomplished for the Lord.
Unfortunately, no follow-up was done. However, Ninnie said that one boy who accepted Jesus at the Crusade was reading the book of John in the Bible we had given him.

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Submitting to the Government https://www.hisriches.com/submitting-to-the-government/ https://www.hisriches.com/submitting-to-the-government/#respond Fri, 09 Oct 2020 02:11:57 +0000 https://www.hisriches.com/?p=15263 Read More...

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We are always to submit to Jesus. Jesus tells us His will in His word, the Bible. Both Apostle Paul and Apostle Peter told us to submit to the government:
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.” Romans 13:1-5
“Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.” 1 Peter 2:13-17

All authority was created through and for Him:
“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16

The Bible tells us over and over we are to be peacemakers:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18
“Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:18
In most instances, obeying the law would be keeping peace.

But sometimes keeping the law of the government is against God. Acts 4 tells of such an incidence:
“Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:18-20
Peter and John had to teach about Jesus, as do we.

Those who know Jesus understand justice:
“The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” (Isaiah 40:13) But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:15-16

The only way we can get true justice is from the Lord:
“Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the LORD that one gets justice.” Proverbs 29:26
“Evildoers do not understand what is right, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.” Proverbs 28:5

Jesus implied it was right to pay taxes, even though everything really belongs to God:
“Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?”
18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
21 “Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” Matthew 22:15-21 (read Mark 12:13-17 Luke 20:20-25).
We are keeping peace and earning the respect of outsiders:
“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

At times, we do not need to obey the law, but we are wise to do so. Jesus did not have to pay taxes, but He did so as to not “cause offense”. Some battles are not worth fighting:
“After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”
“Yes, he does,” he replied.
When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?”
26 “From others,” Peter answered.
“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27 “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.” Matthew 27:24-27

Our son-in-law asked a lawyer, ‘Is it lawful for the government to make all these restrictions concerning the coronavirus”.
The lawyer said, “no”.
Our son-in-law asked, “What can we do?”
The lawyer said, “Nothing, there are too many liberal judges. Canada is like Germany was is 1939.” Nineteen-thirty-nine was when Hitler was controlling the country. He was beginning to make evil laws against God and all humanity.

Right now, we are not allowed to sing in church. God commands us to worship Him. Someday we will have to stand up for what we believe and suffer the consequences. Some battles are not worth fighting. The problem is that there is disagreement as to what point we say, “Enough is enough.” We need to pray for Christians who are already suffering the consequences of injustice.

“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…” Ephesians 6:14
Our responsibility is to learn the truth, pray that the truth would be known and spread the truth, not just the truth about the gospel, but about political situations – the devil is busy spreading lies. We need to pray for and support those are fighting for what is right and just.
We need to live righteously: “…with the breastplate of righteousness in place,” Ephesians 6:14
take every opportunity to spread the gospel in word and deed with love:
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16
to rely on Jesus and have faith in what He says:
“…take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Ephesians 6:16
to apply the advantages of being saved:
“My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. 21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. 23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:20-23
Ask and search for wisdom and take every thought captive to receive the mind of Christ:
“for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16
Memorize, study and speak the Word:
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
and to pray “without ceasing” 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
We should always pray for everyone, especially for the family of God:
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18
Our prayers are powerful:
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16
If we pray and repent our nation will be saved:
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Corinthians 7:14
We should be praying for our government leaders for the good of all:
“ I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4
We should pray for and support our leaders. We should obey them when their laws do not go against God. We should ask for wisdom and discernment for them. We should pray for wisdom when we have the opportunity to choose our leaders.

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Church Intrigue https://www.hisriches.com/church-intrigue/ https://www.hisriches.com/church-intrigue/#respond Sat, 22 Aug 2020 05:02:44 +0000 https://www.hisriches.com/?p=15233 Read More...

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In 1986 Jim worked with computers at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. He was having lunch with a friend who was attending Acadia Seminary. When the friend saw the list of the deacons at our church, he was taken aback to find that one of the deacons was a homosexual. Jim didn’t want to take one man’s word as proof. This deacon had been a member of our church for years and had no known history of misconduct. Jim questioned his friend closely and his friend admitted to having been with Greg, the deacon, himself before he had given up that lifestyle.

Jim went to our pastor with the accusation. The pastor was leaving the church soon and since Greg was no longer on the church board, he did nothing. When a new pastor came, I’ll call Pastor Tom, Jim mentioned it to him. He said Jim must be mistaken and not to say anything about it to anyone. He even made Greg a co-organizer of the prayer group.

Jim and the former pastor had often been the only ones at a prayer meeting. Now several people attended with Pastor Tom and Greg. They usually went around the room asking each person to give a short prayer. This was fine except, Jim said, it seemed like the Holy Spirit wasn’t there. Jim didn’t go often because he felt it was useless.

There was something wrong in the church – some people left, otherwise I can’t remember what exactly was wrong. I do remember that Pastor Tom’s wife gave a good biblical teaching on wives being submissive to their husbands. His two daughters didn’t go to the youth group supposedly because it wasn’t up the standards of their former youth group in South Africa. Pastor Tom’s son seemed apathetic about God and church.

It came time to elect a new church board. Jim was running as was Greg. Unknown to me Jim was fasting until he had more evidence of the misconduct or not of Greg. He had been fasting a few days when we were invited for supper at the home of Roy and his family. Roy was a successful businessman who had been involved in the world till he was recently saved. Jim really wanted to go to Roy’s house to get to know him better and encourage him in the Lord. He decided to go to Roy’s home and fast again afterwards.

We had an enjoyable evening. Roy was an interesting sociable man and his wife kind, hospitable and a good cook. During the conversation Roy said about Greg, “Oh, he’s a homosexual, everyone knows that” (everyone, apparently, except the innocent Christian community). He also mentioned that Pastor Tom owed him a large sum of money which he didn’t pay back. None of these things seemed to bother Roy much, maybe because he was not used to Christian standards.

Jim had the evidence he had prayed for. Since Pastor Tom hadn’t been receptive before, Jim decided to visit Greg at his office as an accountant. Jim asked him to not run for the board. Greg did not admit his actions.

Our son Scott and daughter Jill were eleven and nine when, Sandra was born with a cleft palate. Sandra was not able to nurse so I gave her milk Scott got from milking his goat, and milk I expressed. When I was expressing milk for almost two hours a day, I could not do anything except express milk before an open Bible and pray. One thing I prayed often about was our church.

One day, a few days after his meeting with Greg, Jim got a call from Pastor Tom. Jim was downstairs while I was upstairs in the kitchen. Jim came upstairs and he was shaking. Pastor Tom had called Jim names and said, “I pray that you and your family will be destroyed!” I was elated and said, “the Pastor is corrupt, too.” I had been praying so often that the Lord would reveal to us what was wrong with the church. I wasn’t afraid of his curse: “Like a fluttering sparrow or a daring swallow, a undeserved curse will not come to rest.” Proverbs 26:2

Soon after Pastor Tom invited us to his home for supper. Nothing was mentioned about the previous incident, the pastor mainly talked about all the women chasing him. He didn’t talk about the Lord, but we did talk to his wife about the Lord. She seemed a little distrustful of us, then confused, but she could tell we are genuine lovers of Jesus.

We and others prayed for the right officers to be elected to the church board. It was hard to understand when Greg was elected with the third highest votes. Jim was elected to the board, but in last place. Then it was announced that, because the pastor had not given two-weeks-notice, we would have to vote again. We hoped this time Greg would not get on.

The night of the board meeting, Pastor Tom called Jim in his office. He said that he had a letter accusing Jim of being a homosexual, and he would release it unless Jim withdrew his name from board candidates. Jim only had a moment to decide, but he knew it would split the church – only a few knew of the Pastor’s corruption and might believe his accusations against Jim. Jim withdrew his name. In the election Greg was on but got the fewest votes,
although, as far as we knew, no one and said anything against him.

Jim’s close friend, Don, had tears in his eyes when he talked to Jim in the parking lot. Don said. “Are you giving up the fight, Jim”. Jim just told him, “I’ll explain later.

Don’s mother was church secretary. Some evenings she would drive around crying because she knew what was going on. Another board member’s wife who knew some of the problems, said to me once, “I wonder if I’m crazy”, after hearing one of the pastor’s sermons – it was so good.

The pastor called Jim a Judas and in the next sermon talked about Judas without mentioning Jim’s name so no one except Jim knew that he was connecting Jim with Judas. Jim was considering leaving the church even though Pastor Tom was leaving the church in a few months. I said to Jim, and it turned out to be prophetic, “you won’t need to go to church again while he is here.” Jim drove many people to church, and since Pastor Tom’s sermons were good, those people would have been hurt if Jim left. The pastor was away speaking at times or Jim was away. Jim was sick the only time he would have gone to church when the pastor was there. I went and said to the pastor on the way out of church, “Jim would liked that sermon.” He looked at me strangely, but I meant it – it was a good sermon.

The pastor was planning to go back to South Africa and start Mission Impossible. He gave a church dinner to raise funds and say good-be. I remember sitting at a table and thinking as I watched Christians giving money, “Well, it’s your money, Lord.” Only a few of us knew this pastor was corrupt and dishonest. I believe he supported Greg because Greg was skilled in finances.

After Pastor Tom left for South Africa, we found he had treated another man the way he treated Jim – preaching a sermon on a Bible character he had accused this man of being. We learned from another man who was taking a Bible course online that Pastor Tom’s sermons were coming from a biblical textbook. Though some people left the church permanently, many of the church members became closer to each other because of this experience.

Jim met with the district church leaders concerning Greg. I felt sorry for Jim because although he was confident he had the evidence, the church rejected his appeal and told him to say nothing. Greg had threatened to sue the church. In a short time, Greg left to go to a church in another town.

South Africa was not what Pastor Tom expected; not what it was when he lived there before he came to Nova Scotia. He wanted to come back. Roy was going to pay his way, but Don talked him out of it, saying, “If you bring him here, you’ll have to take care of him.” I saw the irony of God – He had used the money Christians had given Pastor Tom to take him away.

We heard that Pastor Tom had separated from his wife, and that his daughters had to work as housekeepers. We learned later that he had a brain tumor. Both Jim and Dan felt the Lord was especially asking them to pray for him. I pray for his family and hope that he made things right with the Lord before he died.

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Rely Only On Jesus https://www.hisriches.com/rely-only-on-jesus/ https://www.hisriches.com/rely-only-on-jesus/#respond Tue, 18 Aug 2020 02:30:55 +0000 https://www.hisriches.com/?p=15143 Read More...

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In the same passage, Jesus commends Peter for being open to the Holy Spirit and rebukes him for supporting Satan:
“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Matthew 16:13-23
When human concerns go against the concerns of God, they are from Satan.

Mark records the same incident leaving out that Peter’s revelation Jesus was the Messiah, was from the Holy Spirt:
“Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”
28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”
29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”
30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Mark 8:27-33

Matthew especially makes it clear that we can hear from the Holy Spirit and then from Satan in the next moment. Peter obviously thought both his statements were his own conclusions. However, we, with the explanation of Jesus, can understand that this was not accurate. Peter’s statements came from completely opposite sources.

How does this apply to us?
First, we must realize that no one person is right all the time. If we know a person is led by God, we can know that they are more apt to be wise in what they say and do. But not always. We should pray and seek truth for ourselves. We can know that a person who does and speaks evil is usually wrong and evil in what they say. But even the devil speaks the truth when it suits his purpose. It is important to know when truth ends and lies begin, or even the premise could be wrong. It is easy to be deceived; we have a tendency to believe what we hear.

Second, we must realize that we do not always speak and know the truth.  “Blessed are the poor in spirit…” Matthew 5:3 means that those who are blessed are those who rely on Jesus because they know they could easily make a mistake. We all make many mistakes, but God can use those mistakes to make us wiser – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. We should learn from other’s mistakes and not make the same mistake over and over. We should not condemn ourselves when we do make a mistake or even sin. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Another thing we can do is ask forgiveness for what do not realize we are doing wrong:
“Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.” Psalm 19:12

All truth and wisdom come from God and all deception and evil come from Satan. We should pray that God will give us discernment. Discernment is extremely important so we will not deceive ourselves or those who hear see and hear us.

The most important thing we can do to acquire discernment is to know God. Paul prays for believers:
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11

“God is love”:
“…God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sin.” 1 John 4:8-10
“…God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16
God’s love is a sacrificial love based on what is good for the other person. When our actions and speech are based on wanting what is best for others, we are showing God’s love.

When Paul prays that our “love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight” he is praying that we become more and more like Jesus who is “in very nature God…” Philippians 2:6

Having discernment can often be based on what we know from the Bible is God’s will, but sometimes we don’t understood. When Peter rebuked Jesus, his motives were possibly because of his love for Jesus. But he was wrong in his rebuke. Peter going against what Jesus says would be wrong even if it didn’t make sense. Peter would come to realize that Jesus is always right when he fully understood who Jesus is. We can learn from Peter’s mistake that Jesus is always right.

We can know what Jesus thinks about every situation by asking for His wisdom which He promises to give:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” James 1:5-8
The requirements for receiving wisdom is to believe in Jesus and believe what He says when He gives us wisdom.

Sometimes God’s will is not clear, Because God’s word is alive, it can have new meaning at a particular moment. For instance, I used to give milk from our cow to other Christians. Jim would take the jars to people on the way to work. I was complaining to God that sometimes we wouldn’t get back our jars (maybe they didn’t appreciate the milk), or that people were spending their money foolishly. I knew I shouldn’t judge how others spent money, but it was hard not to when I was giving them something. The Lord said to me, “The integrity of the upright will guide them…” Proverbs 11:3. The thought came to me to charge for my milk. I decided to charge a few cents more than the store (although they soon raised their price) because I considered my milk more valuable. When I started doing this our cow stopped producing as much milk. Our neighbor bought a little milk (I could deliver it) and one man bought the rest (Jim didn’t have to go out of his way much).

Jim drove the church bus to pick up people for church and for youth trips into the city for conferences, roller skating, etc. Another church member, a mechanic, kept the bus repaired, and Jim paid for gas. Sometime later Jim told me that he couldn’t afford the gas for the bus if it weren’t for the money we made from selling milk. I was thankful that I was doing God’s will; it validated what God had said to me.

Several times God has spoken to me directly from His word. Many times I know wisdom from people’s experiences that He relates in the Bible. Sometimes I know wisdom from the advice of another person.

Knowing God is a growing experience. Why would Paul pray, “that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight” if God expected us to already know everything?

We can think God’s thoughts or speak God’s words one minute and think Satan’s thoughts or speak Satan’s words the next minute. We need grace for ourselves and others. We should also have the discernment and wisdom to know the difference between God’s voice and Satan’s:
“My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:20-23

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Judging/discerning https://www.hisriches.com/judging-discerning/ https://www.hisriches.com/judging-discerning/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2020 21:51:16 +0000 https://www.hisriches.com/?p=15073 Read More...

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How do we judge others? What is our motive? Do we see clearly? Are we doing the same thing for which we are judging others?
“For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:2-4 (Luke 6:41-42)
We should be able to take the speck (little sin) out of our brother’s eye, but first we must remove the plank (big sin) out of our own eye. That will take discernment.
“So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.” Luke 17:3

 

We are not to judge or “look down on your brother (fellow Christian)” God will judge everyone. We are to do what we can to help others to serve God:
“…You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written:
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.” Romans 14:9-13

 

We should be compassionate, remembering that, except for God’s grace, we could be doing the same thing we see others doing:
  “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:12-13
“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15

 

It wasn’t important to the Apostle Paul how any human court judged him; he could not even trust his own judgment. Only God’s judgment mannered:
“I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.” 1 Corinthians 4:3-4

 

Yet we are to judge ourselves according to God’s Word:
“But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment.” 1 Corinthians 11:31

 

We should try to obey the Lord:
“But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. 32 When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.” 2 Corinthians 11:31-32

His discipline shows that He loves us:
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as a son.” Proverbs 3:11-12 Hebrews 12:6-7

 

We should not compare ourselves with others:
“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12

 

Some people are given the authority to judge. In the Old Testament, God asked His people, the Jews, to bring punishment:
“You must destroy all the peoples the Lord your God gives over to you. Do not look on them with pity and do not serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you.” Deuteronomy 7:16

 

Today, He appoints “the one in authority” to bring judgment:
“For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.” Romans 13:4-5 (1 Peter 2:13-14)

 

We should obey the authority God has chosen. The only time we should not is when their commands goes against God’s commands:
“Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him?…” Acts 4:18-19

 

We should correct and rebuke one another in accordance with God’s Word:
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” 1 Timothy 3:16

 

Especially pastors are given the authority to reprove or rebuke; Paul commands Timothy and Titus to correct and rebuke – they are even told how:
“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:2
“These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.” Titus:2:15

 

We can know whether we should obey the commands of the authorities, whether we should correct or rebuke someone or if we should repent ourselves – we have the “mind of Christ”:
“for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ,” 1 Corinthians 2:16 Isaiah 40:13

 

We must judge or discern correctly. We can know the mind of Christ because we can ask for wisdom from God:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be
given to you.” James 1:5

 

We need to protect ourselves and others against the cruelty of others, but our actions should not be vengeful:.
“Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” Romans 12:19

 

Only God can make a correct judgment:
“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23:13 Luke 14:11, 18:14
“For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.” 2 Corinthians 10:18

 

Although we are not to judge hypocritically, we must judge or discern. We are warned not to follow “strange teaching” – we have to know God and His will so we stand for truth:
“Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings…” Hebrews 13:9

 

We are to know “sound doctrine” and be able to speak against the sin of lawless people:
“We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.” 1 Timothy 1:9-11

 

Paul urged Timothy to “command certain people not to teach false doctrines”:
“As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer.” 1 Timothy 1:3

 

We have to consistently live our lives and speak truth for our own good and the good of others:
“Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4:16

 

Paul tells Titus to not only “encourage others by sound doctrine” but to “refute those who oppose it”:
“He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” Titus 1:9

 

The best way to expose the false is to teach the truth:
“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.” Titus 2:1

 

We must discern what “the fruitless deeds of darkness” are so can “expose them”:
“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11

 

After two warnings, a “divisive person” in someone to avoid. There warnings are for their good and the god of others, giving them a chance to change:
“Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.” Titus 3:10

 

A “divisive person” causes division, not unity:
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people dwell together in unity!” Psalm 133:1

 

A “divisive person” is often concerned with “godless myths and old wives’ tales”:
“Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.” 1 Timothy 4:7

 

A “divisive person” often has the characteristics described in the following verse:
“If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.” 1 Timothy 6:3-5
Everyone makes the decision of how to spend their time and money. It is our duty to decide which charity to whom we give.

 

We must be prepared for a time when the vast majority of people will be against Jesus and His teachings:
“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3

 

Many people we should have nothing to do with because of their characteristics:
“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 such people.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5

 

There are some people who we should not bother to tell about Jesus. Jesus expects us to have the wisdom to tell who those people are:
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:6

 

How can we know someone will not appreciate the truth unless we judge or discern? The best way is to ask Jesus. I knew a pastor’s wife who said that she always spoke to people about the Lord unless the Lord told her not to.

 

It is important who we choose as our friends. We do not want our character corrupted:
“Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
We do not want to be led astray:
“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26
We do not want to come to ruin:
“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin…” Proverbs 18:24
We do not want to learn the ways of a hot-tempered person and get ourselves ensnared:
“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.”  Proverbs 22:24-25

 

We should choose friends who are discerning and be open to just criticism:
“A rebuke impresses a discerning person more than a hundred lashes a fool.” Proverbs 17:10

 

Jesus wants us to know His heart and be His friends along with those who also believe:
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:7-17

 

We judge or discern all the time, especially ideas. We often judge people unfairly or hypocritically; our judgments are often based on our prejudices or misunderstanding. Our decisions should be based on the commands of Jesus – the Living Word:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.“ John 1-2
All men are valuable because they were created in the image of God. They were created with a free will:
“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Genesis 1:26
Mankind chose with his free will to follow Satan (Genesis 3). In doing this mankind gave over his authority to rule the earth:
Satan is the cause of all evil – he was created with a free will and he chose to turn away from God, to worship himself, to cause others to worship him:
“You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly… I will make myself like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:13-14
“You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you.” Ezekiel 28:15
Because Adam and Eve chose to listen to Satan, their children and all mankind is born with a sin nature:
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” Romans 3:23
However, Jesus who is God and sinless, died to pay the penalty for our sins – mankind can be redeemed:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:16-18
The decision to believe in or follow Jesus is the most important decision a person can make.
Everyone is equal and valuable to Jesus. But those who believe in Him become His children and will be in heaven with Him forever:
“He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:10-13
Jesus wants all men to be saved from sin and its consequences:
“…he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

Our goal and judgments should be based on the goal and judgments of Jesus:
“…God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:8-11
We need to treat everyone with respect, kindness and love, especially those who believe:
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:10

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Fear of Man https://www.hisriches.com/fear-of-man/ https://www.hisriches.com/fear-of-man/#comments Sat, 25 Apr 2020 20:14:23 +0000 https://www.hisriches.com/?p=14963 Read More...

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“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25
The fear of man is the opposite of the fear of God.

Since “…God is love…” 1 John 4:8, 16, the fear of man is the opposite of love:
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
The fear of man has to do with the consequences of not living up to what people expect of us.

In his book Breaking Intimidation John Bevere talks about the fear of God – giving God the respect, praise and obedience He deserves. If we fear God, we won’t fear man – being anxious, avoiding rejection and confrontation.

The fear of the Lord is trusting in Him. It is putting hope in His unfailing love:
“But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,” Psalm 33:18
“the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Psalm 147:11
“Let those who fear the Lord say: “His love endures forever.” Psalm 118:4
God delights in those who fear Him.

Those who fear the Lord are blessed forever. His righteousness is with their descendants:
“But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children” Psalm 103:17

He will keep at peace those who trust in Him:
“You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is steadfast because you trust in him.”

Evil is avoided for those who fear the Lord:
“Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided.” Proverbs 16:6
The advantages are endless for those who believe in Jesus. Their sins are blotted out, and they have the inheritance of a life forever with Jesus who loves them so much in a perfect heaven.

Fear of man is prevalent. The person who doesn’t believe in Jesus almost always is motivated by the fear of man. Even the person who does believe in Jesus is often motivated by the fear of man.

Following are a few biblical examples of people giving in to the fear of man:

King Herod locked John the Baptist up in prison because John had told him it was not lawful for have Herodias who had been his brother Phillip’s wife, yet Herod respected John and listened to him often.
On Herod’s birthday Salome, Herodias’ daughter, danced for him and pleased him so much he promised to give her whatever she asked for. She asked her mother what she should ask for, and Herodias told her to ask for the head of John the Baptist. Herod did not want to do this but because of his oath and his guests (fear of man), he gave her what she requested (Matthew 11:2-19 Mark 6:14-29).

Jesus’ disciple Peter is an example of a man who truly loved Jesus giving way to the fear of man. He denied that he knew Jesus three times when Jesus was falsely accused before being crucified. Peter feared that he, too, would be condemned. Thankfully, Peter came back to follow Jesus and did mighty things for God (Matthew 26-75 Mark 14:27-72 Luke 22:31-62 John 13:35-38 18:15-27). Jesus prayed for Peter (Luke 22:31-32) – how often does the great love of Jesus who intercedes for us, cause us to repent.
Peter was reinstated by Jesus and given a mission (John 21:15-21) (“….Feed my lambs.” verse 15 “…Take care of my sheep” verse 16 “…Feed my sheep” verse 17) He wrote two books of the Bible (1 & 2 Peter) showing he fulfilled that mission.

The example of Pilate shows the struggle between the conviction of God and the temptation of the devil – in this case, the fear of man:
“…Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee…during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas…” Luke 3:1-2 when Jesus was crucified.

Jesus was brought before Pilate by the Jewish leaders because they didn’t have authority to kill Jesus (John 18:31):

Signs to Pilate that Jesus is God and signs that Pilate was responding:
1. Jesus told Pilate what He said about Himself was true. Pilate knew the Jews were expecting a Messiah (Matthew 27:22,  Luke 23:2).
Jesus answered when Pilate asked Him: “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Jesus replied. (Matthew 27:11 Mark 15:2 Luke 23:3).
Jesus went on to explain as recorded in John:
“Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”
35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”
36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
38 “What is truth?” …” John 18:33-38

2. Jesus didn’t respond as other men would have:
Jesus didn’t answer a single charge against Him: “to the great amazement of the governor” (Matthew 27:14 Mark 15:5). Pilate could see He was no ordinary man.

3. Pilate could see that there were supernatural elements:
“While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.” Matthew 27:19 This from a reliable source – his own wife.
The Jewish leaders told Pilate that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God:
“As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”
But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”
7 The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”
8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9 and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”
11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”
12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free,..” John 19: 6-12

4. Pilate tried to get the crowd to accept another solution: “ So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Matthew 27:17

5. Pilate “knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him.” Matthew 27:18 Mark 15:9-10
He knew that Jesus was innocent, and that the Jews wanted Him killed for their own interests.

6. Pilate tried to convince the crowd that Jesus had done nothing wrong: “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.” Matthew 27:23

7. Pilate tried to get rid of the responsibility; “he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” Matthew 27:24

Signs that the devil was trying to get Pilate to have Jesus crucified and  Pilate responded:

1. He was influenced by an ungodly man of his status: “On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. 7 When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s (“…tetrarch of Galilee…Luke 3:1) jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.
8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort. 9 He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. 12 That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies.” Luke 23:6-12
Why did Pilate and Herod become friends? Herod, no doubt, strengthened Pilate’s unbelief:
“Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.” Acts 4:27
Herod, Pilate, the Gentiles and the people of Israel were all guilty is Jesus crucifixion.

2. The powerful chief priests and elders persuaded the people whose rebellion could change Pilate’s decision:
“But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.”
21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.
“Barabbas,” they answered.
22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.
They all answered, “Crucify him!”
They all answered, “Crucify him!”
23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”
When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”
25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”
26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.” Matthew 27:20-26

“But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.
12 “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them.
13 “Crucify him!” they shouted.
14 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”
Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.” Mark 15:11-15

“Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. 15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.”
18 But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)
20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.
But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.” Luke 23:13-25

“When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon.
“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.
15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”
“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.
“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.
16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.” John 18:13-16
Pilate gave in, against his better judgment to the fear of man.

“The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go.” Acts 3:13
Pilate had decided to let Jesus go, but because he did not believe in Jesus as God, he gave in to Satan’s plan.

Satan thought he had won, but God through Jesus’ crucifixion had won the greatest battle of all time. He died in our place so we could live forever with Him.

The Jewish people were held responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus. They pronounced a curse on themselves:
“All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!” Mark 15:25

Some day Jesus will come back and the remnant of the Jewish people will repent and glorify Jesus who will be their King forever:
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” Zechariah 12:10
“Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:7

We do not want to be like  or Peter at the time he denied Jesus or Herod or Pilate. From these examples we can see how powerful and evil is the fear of man. We can fall captive to its subtle (or not so subtle) temptation easily. That is why we should pray as Jesus said we should, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ Matthew 6:13 The evil one is trying to lead us into temptation, and we need Jesus’ help to defeat him.

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Similar Passages in the Old and New Testaments https://www.hisriches.com/similar-passages-in-the-old-and-new-testaments/ https://www.hisriches.com/similar-passages-in-the-old-and-new-testaments/#respond Wed, 21 Aug 2019 06:30:49 +0000 https://www.hisriches.com/?p=14763 Read More...

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There are differences between the Old and New Testament. For instance, “The Old Testament predicts a Messiah (see Isaiah 53), and the New Testament reveals who the Messiah is (John 4:25–26). The Old Testament records the giving of God’s Law, and the New Testament shows how Jesus the Messiah fulfilled that Law (Matthew 5:17; Hebrews 10:9). In the Old Testament, God’s dealings are mainly with His chosen people, the Jews; in the New Testament, God’s dealings are mainly with His church (Matthew 16:18).” gotquestions.org

Sometimes people imply that the God of the Old Testament is not the God of the New Testament – that God changed. That is not true. Similarities between the Old Testament and the New Testament are more important than the differences.

“Both testaments reveal the same holy, merciful, and righteous God who condemns sin but desires to save sinners through an atoning sacrifice. In both testaments, God reveals Himself to us and shows us how we are to come to Him through faith (Genesis 15:6; Ephesians 2:8).” gotquestions.org

Both testaments are about Jesus. In fact, Jesus is the Word:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us…” John 1:1-14

“the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.” Romans 9:4-5

“And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” Colossians 1:18

Following are a few examples of God saying the same thing in the OT as in the NT:

GOD DOES NOT CHANGE
OT
“God is not a man, that he should lie, nor the son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” Numbers 23:19
NT
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER
NT QUOTING OT
“For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, ‘All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.’ Isaiah 40:6-8
And this is the word that was preached to you.” 1 Peter 1:23-26

DO NO ADD TO HIS WORD
OT
“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” Proverbs 30:5-6
NT
“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.” Revelation 22:18-19

GOD OF WRATH
OT
“When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way,” they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry. The Lord will never be willing to forgive them; his wrath and zeal will burn against them. All the curses written in this book will fall on them, and the Lord will blot out their names from under heaven. The Lord will single them out from all the tribes of Israel for disaster, according to all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law.” Deuteronomy 29:19-21
NT
“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:11-15
 “Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness… Romans 11:22

 SALVATION
OT
“I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes…” Job 19:25-27
“Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.” Psalm 32:1-2
“But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.” Psalm 130:4
NT
“…We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved…”
Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.” Romans 4:7
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

 WHAT WE DO TO PLEASE GOD IS TO BELIEVE IN HIM
OT
“What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.” Psalm 116:12-13
NT
“Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:28-29

 COMPLETE OBEDIENCE BRINGS ANSWER
OT
“If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways, how quickly I would subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!” Psalm 81:13-14
NT
“And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.” 2 Corinthians 10:6

 MEEK WILL INHERIT THE LAND
OT
“But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity. Psalm 37:11
NT
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5

 GOD WILL JUDGE
OT
“Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25
“Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth,” 1 Chronicles 16:33
“Can anyone teach knowledge to God, since he judges even the highest?” Job 21:22
“…God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.” Ecclesiastes 3:17
NT
“…For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.” Romans 14:10
“Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially…” 1 Peter 1:17
“But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” 1 Peter 4:5

 WICKED GOING INTO CAVES ON DAY OF WRATH
OT
“Go into the rocks, hide in the ground from the fearful presence of the Lord and the splendor of his majesty!…
People will flee to caves in the rocks and to holes in the ground from the fearful presence of the Lord and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth. In that day people will throw away to the moles and bats their idols of silver and idols of gold, which they made to worship. They will flee to caverns in the rocks and to the overhanging crags fro the fearful presence of the Lord and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth.” Isaiah 2:10-21
NT
“I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair,
the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?” Revelation 6:12-17

 GRAPES TRAMPLED – JUDGEMENT
OT
“Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow—so great is their wickedness!” Joel 3:13
NT
“Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.” The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia.” Revelation 14:18-20

 SUN, MOOM, STARS
OT
“When I snuff you out, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give its light. All the shining lights in the heavens I will darken over you; I will bring darkness over your land, declares the Sovereign Lord.” Ezekiel 32:7-8
Before them the earth shakes, the heavens tremble, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine.” Joel 2:10
“The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine.” Joel 3:15
NT
“Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’” Matthew 24:29 Mark 13:24 Luke 21:25
“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Acts 2:17-21 quoting Joel 2:28-32
“I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.” Revelation 6:12-14

 JESUS NOT ABANDONED TO GRAVE
“I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope,  because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay.  You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.” Acts 2:25-28 quoting Psalm 16:8-11

 GOD THE FATHER TALKING TO JESUS
“The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” Acts 2:24-25 Psalm 110:1

BABYLON DESTROYED
OT
“…I am, and there is none besides me. I will never be a widow or suffer the loss of children.’ Both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood. They will come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and all your potent spells. You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, ‘No one sees me.’ Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, ‘I am, and there is none besides me.’ Disaster will come upon you, and you will not know how to conjure it away. A calamity will fall upon you that you cannot ward off with a ransom;
a catastrophe you cannot foresee will suddenly come upon you.
“Keep on, then, with your magic spells and with your many sorceries…” Isaiah 47:8-12
NT
“Give her as much torment and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit enthroned as queen. I am not a widow; I will never mourn.’ Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.” Revelation 18:7-8

 GOD DOES NOT WANT ANYONE TO PERISH
OT
“Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?” Ezekiel 18:23
“Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways!…’” Ezekiel 33:11
NT
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

 DEATH IS A LESSING FOR THE CHRISTIAN
OT
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.” Psalm 116:15
“On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 25:7-8
“The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil” Isaiah 57:1
“I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction…” Hosea 13:14
NT
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
 “I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:51-55
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4

THERE WILL BE A MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB
“On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine—the best of meats and the finest of wines.” Isaiah 25:6
NT
“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)
Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!”…” Revelation 19:6-9

In both testaments a complete contrast is made between those who trust in God and those who don`t.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-4

Jesus did tell His disciples:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” John 13:34

 But even this love was demonstrated in the Old Testament in the story of Ruth. Naomi, Ruth and Boaz showed this kind of love toward each other. Ruth set this love in motion when she declared to Noami:
“But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” Ruth 1:16-17

Jesus summed up the law of the Old Testament into two commands:
“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” Matthew 22:37-40

Jesus fulfilled the Law in the New Testament:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” Matthew 5:17-18

 Much of what was said in the Old Testament is repeated in the New Testament. Any differences in the Testaments when understood demonstrate that the God of the Old Testament is the New Testament.

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2 Peter 1:3-11 https://www.hisriches.com/2-peter-13-11/ https://www.hisriches.com/2-peter-13-11/#respond Thu, 25 Apr 2019 05:40:56 +0000 https://www.hisriches.com/?p=14713 Read More...

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2 Peter 13-11

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
Therefore, brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, but will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:3-11
We can live godly lives, not through our own ability, but because of “His divine power”. We have “everything we need” when we are His children.

 He works in us through His Holy Spirit:
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippines 2:12-13
He causes us not only to obey, but to want to obey. When we know the terrible consequences of sin (the corruption in the world”), the fact that He loves us (he calls us (my dear friends”), and is doing everything for our good (“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him…” Romans 8:28 – one of His great and precious promises”), we will have joy in obedience.

The Apostle Peter (who wrote 2 Peter 1:13-17) asks us, because we have received “his divine power”, to possess and increase in certain qualities: faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.

We have faith if we are God’s children:
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
We have not seen Jesus physically, but we believe in Him. We believe in what He has promised.

Even in the Old Testament, before Jesus was born as a baby into this world, people were saved by faith in the One True God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
“Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.” Malachi 3:16
Some respected God and obeyed Him. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses. Joshua, Ruth, Samuel, Esther, David and many others knew God.

 It was always by faith in this One True God, that we have salvation, David wrote:
“The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

“Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.” Isaiah 56:1
Jesus, God Himself, came into the world to pay the penalty for the sins of mankind:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind…
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-14
Those who believed in Him received the right to become children of God”.

 Jesus revealed the righteous of God, that is by faith:
“For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:17

 

We have peace with God through our faith in Jesus:
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” Romans 5:1

 We believe in our hearts and profess that we do and are saved:
“For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:10

Faith in Jesus came in a moment in time, but it is a continuing experience. Faith is one of the weapons of our warfare, against the devil:
“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.:” Ephesians 6:16

 Faith is very important to God. It is the reason for our trials:
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—
may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:6-9

 We should consider trials “pure joy” because they will make us “mature and complete”:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

 We are to add to our faith, goodness: “integrity, honesty, uprightness…morality, virtue refer to qualities of character or conduct that entitle the possessor to approval and esteem. Goodness is the simple word for the general quality recognized in character or conduct…”

We are to add to goodness, knowledge. Knowledge is getting to know Jesus. Faith, obedience, prayer. studying His word, worshipping Him with others and relating to other believers help our knowledge increase.

Add self-control. Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” Galatians 5:22-23
“The fruit of the Spirit is the change in our character that comes about because of the Holy Spirit’s work in us…Every good thing we do is the fruit of the Spirit’s work in our lives. Self-control… is…the ability to control oneself. It involves moderation, constraint, and the ability to say “no” to our baser desires and fleshly lusts. One of the proofs of God’s working in our lives is the ability to control our own thoughts, words, and actions.” GotQuestions.org 

“Self-control naturally leads to perseverance as we value the long-term good instead of the instant gratification of the world.” GotQuestions.org Bible teacher Kay Arthur defines perseverance as “keep on keeping on”.

Add godliness. Godliness is being pious, obeying God. Jesus is the best example of godliness, and we can be like Him:
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” 1 Peter 1:3-4
Peter says that we have everything we need to “participate in the divine nature” – we can attain godliness with the help of Jesus.

The Greek word for brotherly kindness is transliterated “philadelphia,” a compound involving two words: “phileo” (love) and “adelphos” (brother). It literally means “the love of brothers.” As used in the New Testament, “philadelphia” describes the love which Christians cherish for each other as brethren (Thayer). Romans 12:10 reveals that it is through brotherly kindness that we can have “kind affection” toward one another. It is brotherly kindness, therefore, that provides a true sense of family in our association as members of the Lord’s body.” 2 Peter 1:7a – Brotherly Kindness – Bible.ca

Love is defined in the Bible:
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:12-13

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:7-10

Brotherly love in the biblical sense is an extension of the natural affection associated with near kin, toward the greater community of fellow believers, that goes beyond the mere duty in Leviticus 19:18 to “love thy neighbour as thyself”, and shows itself as “unfeigned love” from a “pure heart”, that extends an unconditional hand of friendship that loves when not loved back, that gives without getting, and that ever looks for what is best in others.” Wikipedia

We should earnestly seek to grow in these qualities (faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, love), rejoicing in knowing that, if we do, we will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

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Raising Children – “…from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27 https://www.hisriches.com/raising-children-from-being-polluted-by-the-world-james-127/ https://www.hisriches.com/raising-children-from-being-polluted-by-the-world-james-127/#respond Sun, 11 Nov 2018 05:49:33 +0000 https://www.hisriches.com/?p=14573 Read More...

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We have wonderful children. They are happily married, and we have amazing grandchildren. All know Jesus.

Though each person has to decide for himself to serve Jesus, there are principles that make the choice more likely. One is found in the following verse:

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27

One of the most challenging aspects of parenting is to keep your children “from being polluted by the world.”

Jim and I did our best to keep our children from being polluted by the world. Most of our rules had to do with protecting Scott and Jill spiritually.

Simple Rules That Protect Children Spiritually

Though La Leche League (an organization for breastfeeding mothers) is non-sectarian (does not promote any religion), its concepts guide mothers to wisdom. LLL had a great influence on my parenting.

I heard about La Leche League when Scott was a baby, but it was not until Jill was two months old did I start going to LLL meetings, Later I became a leader. One of the LLL ten concepts is: “Ideally discipline is loving guidance.”

The speaker of a LLL tape said not to make many rules, only those that keep your child from being hurt socially, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I realized that was what I had done. Jill said to me, “Mom, you don’t have any more rules than anyone else, just different ones.”

There were some LLL leaders who didn’t believe in spanking (although the LLL concept doesn’t say that). I tried not spanking Scott. It didn’t work well. Finally, after sitting in front of Scott’s bedroom door to keep him in for a nap, I told Jim he would have to spank Scott. He did and said, “It hurts me more than it does him.” He didn’t spank much, he told the kids once and they obeyed. They didn’t listen to me as well, but in general they were obedient children.

One thing we mentioned at LLL meetings is that if you love, care for and encourage your children, they are more apt to want to please you and learn to obey at an early age.

Jim spanked the kids some. Once when he was taking Jill out of the church, she yelled, “Don’t spank me, Dad”. I was more lenient with them in church.

I only spanked Jill once. She kept getting into the big plant in our living room. I had put the other plants our of reach and made a sandbox outside for her so she wouldn’t need to play in the plant dirt. Spanking seemed to be my best option. I spanked her but told her I loved her and repeated she couldn’t play with my plant. She never got in it again.

When they were older, Scott and Jill seemed to think it wasn’t my place to spank them, and maybe they were right.

The last time Jim spanked Scott was when he was eleven or twelve. When I asked Scott to help he would say, “I’m going to run away.” I prayed about what to do.

One night when Jim was with his friend having an important meeting with the leaders of the Jehovah Witnesses, I asked Scott to help and he disappeared. He had walked into Canning (the nearest town about six miles away) that day. I was afraid he had run away (probably illogical) because I couldn’t find him anywhere. Finally, I called Jim. He and his friend left their important meeting. He looked all over for Scott and was just going to call the police, when he heard footsteps upstairs on the main floor. Scott had been hiding and asleep behind the living room couch! He spanked Scott, breaking the paddle. He told Jill to go to her room and was going to spank Jill because she knew and didn’t tell us (Scott had told her not to). Jim saw Jill’s big tears and felt she had learned her lesson without being spanked. Scott never said he was going to run away again.

Scott said once when he was sixteen that he was going to go against my wishes when he was old enough (eighteen). I prayed – “God, You have two years to change his mind”. Scott had changed his mind before he was eighteen.

When Jill was a teenager. a church youth group was visiting. On their last night, they wanted to stay up and have a party at the beach. We said Jill could, but she had to listen to the youth group leaders. They said no because the youth had to be rested for travel the next day.
Jill had a friend stay over and they were sleeping in our basement. After 12 p.m. her friend’s mother called because she didn’t know where her daughter was. Jim went to find them and noticed the sleeping bags looked strange. They weren’t there! He called the youth group leaders, and after looking for a few hours, they found the young people in the apartment of a youth leader who was away and had one of the youth looking after his apartment.
We grounded Jill for one week. She didn’t think it was fair. I could understand the youth wanting to be with their new friends on the last night, but we had to punish Jill because of disobedience. It wasn’t much of a punishment because she was in school all day.

Otherwise we did not have trouble with our children when they were teenagers. We could have, but God was speaking to them. Jill said she was jogging one morning and thinking about how hard it was to be different. Maybe she should just go party with the rest of the kids. Suddenly she thought of the verse:

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 (Luke 12:31).

Someone said to me, “If you are too strict with your kids, they will rebel.” I thought, “I’m just trying to do what God wants – He will handle the results”. Both Scott and Jill told us how much they appreciated out standards. They had the excuse that their parents wouldn’t let them when they could have been pressured into something.

Halloween

In Montreal when Scott was four I took him trick or treating. I did limit the amount of candy he could eat (I am very health conscious, even more so now). I didn’t see anything wrong with Halloween. I went trick or treating, to Halloween parties, and even directed a Halloween play when growing up.

During the following year the Lord convicted me about celebrating Halloween – it is Satan’s holiday. We had moved to Nova Scotia but were in Montreal for a course for Jim’s work. We were staying in a three-story apartment building with almost no furniture. On Halloween night Jim was at work.
I didn’t want to give kids candy so I bought a box of apples – I didn’t give them out because our apartment manager wouldn’t let in trick or treaters. I was afraid Scott would mention Halloween – he didn’t (maybe because no one came to our door). I wanted to do something so Scott and Jill wouldn’t feel left out. We had very few books or toys in the apartment. I prayed lots.
I felt to read the Bible to them. I had no idea what. We sat in a circle on the floor and I opened the Bible. All I saw was “witch of Endor” 1 Samuel 28. I told them about real witches and demons and Halloween as the devil’s holiday. I felt like we were protected by angels in our apartment. That night there was a rape in our apartment complex and a murder down the street.

We never celebrated Halloween. Some years we went to a church party or prayer meeting, or maybe just stayed home. We lived out in the country in Nova Scotia so didn’t get trick or treaters, but our friends (he was a dentist) gave out toothbrushes and tracts). In Hay River we gave out tracts when we were home.

Scott and Jill heard Halloween stories and drew pictures about Halloween in school – I told them just to remember what Halloween really was). They never dressed up for Halloween in school.

Reading Christian Books

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Jim wanted me to read only Bible stories or Christian stories to Scott and Jill. I had loved fairy tales and associated them with the security of having my mother read to me. One of my favorite magazines had stories about a witch. I had a wonderful Christian mother, but she didn’t see anything wrong with this children’s literature as many Christians don’t. My mother mentioned that there wasn’t many Christian books to read children when we were growing us and agreed with what we were doing. I did as Jim asked and began to notice the meaninglessness or even evil of nursery rhymes and fairy tales.

There are many stories designed to teach reading or facts, but my reading only Bible and Christian stories worked well for our family. That way little of bad influence creeped in, although, of course, they heard nonChristian literature from other sources. Also, not all Christian literature is devoid of bad influence.

I remember reading them the Picture Bible over and over and Danny Orlis novels. I read to them every night. When they were older I read while they were doing dishes. Scott said once, “Why don’t you do dishes since you’re just reading to us. I replied, “Because you have to do dishes, and I’m just trying to make it fun.”

Once Scott brought an Archie comic home and told me I couldn’t throw it away because it belonged to someone else. I said, “If you don’t return it to that someone else, I’ll throw it away.”

When they were older they read to themselves at night. They had to be in their rooms at a certain time, but they could read as late as they wanted.

When they were teens, Jill and I would read to each other when one of us were cooking or doing dishes. Among others, we read Frank Peretti novels. We read Christy by Catherine Marshall three times and recently listened to it on audio over my telephone.

T.V.

We moved from Montreal to Nova Scotia when Scott was four and Jill was two. I felt God wanted us to get rid of our TV.

Scott was so active that the time I could get things done was when he was watching Sesame Street and The Flintstones. When we got rid of our TV Scott calmed down so I had much less trouble getting things done.

Jim’s mother didn’t agree. She said the children wouldn’t learn to read without Sesame Street (she was not a Christian at that time). Jill was reading adult books by the age of 10.

One summer Jim was sent on a course for Control Data to Montreal. A friend let us stay in their home for the several week course. They had four TV sets in their house. Scott wanted to watch Sesame Street “just while” we were there. I said, “I would think/pray about it”. Jim started his course the next day. It was a dreary day, I wasn’t familiar with the neighborhood so didn’t know what to do. I kept praying for God to let me know what to do before 10 a.m. when Sesame Street started. I thought Scott would ask, and I needed an answer.
At 10 a.m. I said, “Let’s play a game.” I didn’t plan to say it, it just came out of my mouth. Scott and Jill looked at me strangely (I’m afraid I didn’t play games with them often) so we played a game. Scott never said another word about the TV. There was a swimming pool and community center just a short walk through a beautiful country-like area and we had plenty to do.

Our children always had lots to do without TV. Scott wrote computer programs, milked his own goats and went visiting with Jim. Jill and I had picnics outside in the summer and around the wood stove in the winter. We played make believe games, for example, she would pretend to be Mary and visit me while I was cooking or doing housework.

When Scott was eleven, he would ask every day for a TV (Jill was only two when we gave up our TV and didn’t care about a TV). At the time, Jim and I were in charge of children’s ministry at church. A young couple named Barry and Nancy came to our church and wanted to help. We decided to have a weekend retreat for the children and Barry would speak.
That weekend, Barry spent the time in his room praying and fasting except when he was speaking. The rest of us took care of meals, recreation, counseling, etc. I remember the Sunday morning service especially – it lasted three hours and the children were glued to their chairs, hardly making a sound. Barry told about how he had fallen away from God as a teen and lived a meaningless life until he returned to Jesus.
After the weekend, Scott said, “I guess I don’t want a TV.”

They did watch TV sometimes. Once a friend was describing how bad a TV movie was. Scott said, “Oh, I saw that.” He had seen it when he stayed overnight with a Christian friend!

They watched TV at Jim’s parents. His parents thought what they allowed the children to watch was okay, but it was not up to our standards. Once I came into the room when Scott was watching a program. It wasn’t bad, but I started praying that God would open Scott’s eyes to see what was wrong. Scott me later, “I didn’t see anything wrong, Mom, until you came in the room.

Knowing Jesus

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:1-4
The main reason our children was obedient most of the time was because they accepted the Lord at an early age. When Scott was six, Jim and I were sorting Jim’s tools in the basement (something I had wanted done for a long time), Scott stopped me when I was going downstairs. He wanted to ask Jesus to come into his heart. I told Jim who led Scott to the Lord. When we came upstairs later, Scott and Jill were kneeling beside the couch. Scott had led Jill to the Lord!

Jill would line up her stuffed animals and dolls and preach to them. She asked our unsaved neighbor who was visiting, “Do you know Jesus?” Our neighbor said, “I know about Him.”

When Jill was young, Jim’s parents asked her to come to their home, but she told them she had to stay home and pick up the things I dropped (I can’t see well). Other mothers would find their children’s boots for them at church, but Jill would get my boots for me. I didn’t ask her – it was on her own imitative.

We lived in the country in Nova Scotia away from everything. I decided to start a Bible school for children the age of my children (five and three). Every Tuesday and Thursday morning we would have a few songs, a Bible lesson and a healthy snack. One time just my kids were at Bible school. We were acting out the story of Jesus raising the widow’s son from the dead (Luke 7:11-17). Scott was the young man and Jill was Jesus. I can still picture Jill, raising her arm in the air and saying in her three-year-old voice “I say to you, arise!”

Jim and I played Christian music in out home. At one time, we were stricter and would only play certain types of Christian music. Scott helped us change our minds. He and another boy acted out a song by Carmen about Jesus defeating the devil. It was powerful. Today I am a DJ on a volunteer Hay River radio station and play all kinds of Christian music.

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12
When Scott was eight years old, he told me, “I wouldn’t obey you, except God says I have to.”
A little discouraged, I was telling this to my friend Dorothy. She said enthusiastically, “Jerri, he listens to God!

I milked cows for several years when we rented a hobby farm in Nova Scotia. About the time I had Sandra (she drowned when she was 18 months old – see my book Sandra), Scott wanted a goat. Jim and I said he could, but he would have to milk and take care of it because I was too busy. He did faithfully for two years. In fact, Sandra drank some of the goat’s milk – because of a cleft lip and palate she couldn’t nurse. I expressed some breast milk, but not enough. At the end of two years, we did not have cows and I loved the goats so took over when Scott wanted to quit.

When Scott was twelve, he wanted to be baptized. Jim told him to talk to the pastor. The pastor arranged for him to be baptized. The pastor is a big man – it looked so special to see him and Scott walking together. Scott testified that he wanted to be ready when Jesus returned.

Nutrition

Besides going against the status quo, spiritually, Jim and I (especially me) went against it in our eating habits. I started changing my habits as a teenager when I read that sugar is harmful to the teeth and is involved in diabetes. I gave up extra sugar. In my late twenties I learned about reading labels and stopped buying foods with sugar and preservatives added. When I was pregnant with Jill, I noticed how so much of the foods in the grocery store wasn’t good for you. One LLL concept is “Good nutrition is eating a variety of food in as natural a state as possible”. LLL had a library with several books on nutrition. I started reading nutritional books like Sugar Blues – William Duffy and books by Adelle Davis. It was suggested that if you don’t let your children have sugary foods when they are young, they won’t crave them. That sounded like a good idea to me. But when I tried to live it, what a fight! After so much opposition, I wondered if I were wrong and reread parts of the books. I determined I was right and fought.

One of the first things that happened was that the grocery store had someone giving out candies. I politely refused them for my children. Jim’s mother added lots of salt to everything and she did lots of baking with sugar, although didn’t buy much sugary food from the store. She thought I was harming the children at first but after some research was more in agreement with me. Also, she had dentures since she was 18 and Jim’s father had to cut down on salt for health reasons. She gave Scott and Jill oranges instead of cookies, etc.

Her mother (Jim’ grandmother) thought I wasn’t giving them the sugar they needed and gave them cookies, etc. I let them have cookies at her home (she was in her 90’s, and we weren’t there often) but threw away the cookies she sent home with Scott and Jill.

My family tried to do what I wanted, but sometimes it was difficult. I tried to buy them grapes, etc. that they didn’t have at home (we lived in the country and didn’t get to the store often) so they wouldn’t feel so deprived.

Church was the hardest challenge because most of our social life was at church. People of all ages, from different walks of life and different traditions all coming together is wonderful but sometimes challenging. It had helped that we had always eaten foods good for health at home (even for birthdays I made nutritious cakes), and Scott and Jill knew what we believed. I brought nutritious foods for pot luck suppers (and some of the foods others brought were nutritious) and I offered to bring the snacks for children at church.

At Jim’s brother’s wedding when Jill was about three they had much good food, but Jill wanted the candy on the table. I said no but decided not to argue with her. I went away to talk to someone but watched her out of the corner of my eye. She stood looking at the candy, then she disappeared. I didn’t see where she went, but soon felt a hug around my knees. She had decided to obey. I know she bought candy with her allowance when she was older – at least that was all I knew about she did that I didn’t like.

Both Scott and Jill have had an influence for good nutrition on their families

Church

Jim expected us to be in church for most services and events. I found this difficult at times. Our church had long services and expected everyone to stand during worship. My back would be sore, and sometimes I wondered how I could be thankful. One day Jim’s cousin’s wife who had mononucleosis visited our church. She said, “If God expected me to stand, He would give me the energy.” I realized that I didn’t have to stand.

Sometimes, I wanted to complain the service was too long, but realized how much was accomplished either for myself or for others. Even when we went through hard times as a church, it would bring us closer to each other and closer to God.

Sunday were busy days for us. I would milk our cow, walk with Jill (which we enjoyed) while Jim and Scott went up on the mountain (by Nova Scotia standards) to get people for Sunday School and church. After Sunday School Jim would drive the children home and after church he would drive the others and us home. We had dinner, then napped till church at night. The evening service was the longest and often most exciting time with amazing times around the altar. We would drive people home going up on the mountain. Bobby, one of the young hill-billy young men and the only Christian in his family, would play his harmonica and we would sing. Bobby was from a poor family and lacking in social and intellectual skills, yet he was kind and friendly and could memorize long poems. Once Bobby felt bad because he had gotten mad at his family and didn’t act the way a Christian should. I told him, “Bobby, you apologized the way a Christian should.” We got to know so many interesting individuals by driving them to church.

After church we would have supper. I went down our driveway to get the milk our neighbor left after milking our cow. He would take the milk he wanted in exchange for milking our cow once a day.

One Sunday I was especially tired and wondered why I went to the evening service. When we came in the house Scott said to Jill, “Did you hear what the pastor said about…” Jill said, “Yes, and did you hear him say…” I thought, “That’s why I came to church.” The service had blessed our children.

Another time we were in Montreal and went to a church at night. Scott was excited. “They are playing our songs.” They were playing the songs our church played in the evening.

Scott and Jill liked church and grew up expecting to go to every service. They accepted Jesus at a young age, and their friends went to church. They knew attending church was a priority so never asked to stay home or go to another event or take a sport on Sunday. They got their homework done before Sunday.

On Saturdays Jim would visit members of our church, especially the ones to whom he gave rides. Sometimes he took Scott or a friend along. Some of the people on the mountain were dangerous, even the police didn’t want to go there. Jim got to be friends with many of the people. We gave a ride to a sweet older lady named Kathleen. Her husband Rufus stayed in a shed behind their house with a fridge that didn’t work but served as a cupboard.
They had several children. Sometimes Rufus was Jim’s friend and other times he tried to kill Jim.
One night, when our family was bringing Kathleen home from church after dark, Rufus was hiding in the ditch. He tried to get in our van on the passenger side where I was sitting. Jim reached over and locked the door just in time. Rufus pushed a two-by-four into the back of the van, just missing Scott and Jill. All the way home Jill kept saying, “We have to get him a Bible.”
Jill and Jim got him a Bible. He probably never used it, but it was a treasured possession of Kathleen’s.

Once Scott told me what he thought he should be allowed to spend every other Friday evening with his nonChristian friends since he went to church twice on Sundays, Wednesday evenings and Youth Friday evenings. I thought this was a reasonable request (He would make a good lawyer). He had nice nonChristian friends, I wasn’t always happy with Youth (once the pastor’s wife took charge of youth when the leaders were away and they watched TV and ate junk food (neither of which we allowed). I said okay. The next Friday Scott went with his nonChristian friends. They played the weegee board. Scott left and walked home even though it was quite a distance in the country and never went with them on Friday evenings again. When he was a teen in Hay River he stressed going to Youth on Friday evenings even when other not-so-strong Christian friends wanted to do something else.

Hay River

God protected Jill in a similar situation. A girl not much younger than Jill, but whom Jill babysat, asked if Jill and her could just go look in the window at the dance (we didn’t allow Scott & Jill to go to dances). I said they could, but afterwards wondered if that was wise. I really prayed – asking God to keep Jill from harm. When Jill came back she said, “Mom, when I got there I couldn’t look in.” We did let Scott & Jill go to the prom.

Jill felt alone in Hay River. She had had close friends in Nova Scotia. Later she became close friends with Tracy in Hay River. Tracy had a poor home life. Scott led Tracy to the Lord and dated her some. He took her to the prom. Now Jill had a close Christian friend.

Jill went with a Christian boy to the prom, although she didn’t date him otherwise. He went drinking with his friends afterward, but Jill wouldn’t go.

When they were in high school, Scott would read his bible in the halls and often ended his English papers with the gospel message (his teacher asked him not to do that). He wasn’t persecuted because he was intelligent, friendly and good at sports.

Once Scott showed me the script of a play he, Jill and other Christians were going to be in. He didn’t think I would approve, and I didn’t. We parents had a meeting with our teens, and they wanted to handle it. The school cancelled the play even though they had already bought some of the props. The director chose another play, and that was almost as bad. We wouldn’t let Scott and Jill be in it – when Scott started to explain, the teacher/director said, “I know Scott, I know.” The other Christian parents let their children participate. As it turned out that play was also cancelled, but Scott and Jill were in the community play “Little Abner.” The other Christian kids weren’t in that play because they had chosen to be in the high school play which was cancelled.

The church youth put on plays and skits, also. Scott played Jesus in one – that play was performed in other towns.

The youth group in Hay River was very close. They stayed close even though the church went through hard times.

I led Precept Bible studies taught by Kay Arthur. In Montreal, where I went to classes several years and trained to be leader, no one was allowed to come to the two-hour group class without doing the five-hour weekly study on their own. In Nova Scotia at one time I led two groups and spent about 20 hours preparing. In Hay River there wasn’t as much interest. I did lead a few courses and studied the course on Revelation twice on my own. Scott wanted me to teach Daniel, much of which is also concerned with end times to the youth. The president of the youth group, a boy Scott’s age, wasn’t that excited. The pastor said youth didn’t want their parents to teach. I said, “Scott asked me to.” Scott was persistent with them, and I finally did. A few came but I think Scott benefited most. He started a Monday evening class on end times for the youth without asking the youth group leaders. He asked us if he could use our house but didn’t say why. Lots of youth came.

In the church where he goes today, Scott has taught on end times. He sent us a book, The Pre-wrath Rapture of the Church by Martin Roseinthal. That book meant a lot to Jim & I because it logically explains the endtimes.

When Scott was a Senior, Jim and I started to go to the Reserve church Sunday evenings. We went to the Chapel (Pentecostal church right in town) Sunday morning, but the Reserve church was the place where we belonged and tithed. Scott, Jim & I started a youth group. It was going well when Scott was there as a role model, but he left to go to college. Then it wasn’t so effective and soon ended. We felt badly that such a needed program ended – hopefully it did some good. Scott & Jill never felt part of the Reserve church although they liked the people and the people really liked them. The Chapel was where they grew up and where their friends went.

Most Important

We all make mistakes. Jim says, “It’s not because of us that our children turned out well, it’s in spite of us.” What he means is that Jesus deserves all the credit. We need wise Christian counsel including books, etc. and the prayers of others, but the most important thing we can do is to be close to Jesus, obeying Him in everything and seeking His guidance.

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