Day Trip to Coon Bluff at the Salt River to See Wild Horses

Here is a 5 minute video I made that shows the mini-herd of 3 wild horses we were able to observe at Coon Bluff (Salt River in Mesa, AZ):

 

Here is a map of the location where we saw the horses:

mid-week apologetics booster (6-4-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1600) from Nuggets:

As for the true Christian, he expects to have his reward in the next life, and to endure hardness in this. The promise of the old covenant was prosperity, but the promise of the new covenant is adversity. Remember Christ’s words–“Every branch in me that beareth not fruit”–What? “He purgeth it, that it may bring forth fruit.” If you bring forth fruit, you will have to endure affliction.  – Charles Spurgeon

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Sex Education in Public Schools: Sexualization of Children and LGBT Indoctrination – this page has a link to a downloadable PDF pamphlet: https://www.frc.org/sexeducation
  2. The Psychology of Apologetics Conversations (Engineering Psychology for Apologetics): http://www.jaymedenwaldt.com/2020/02/engineering-psychology-for-apologetics.html
  3. Why Does the Bible Specify That Paul Was a Roman Citizen? | How Can Paul Be a Hebrew and Roman Citizen? – Beliefnet: https://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/why-does-the-bible-specify-that-paul-was-a-roman-citizen.aspx
  4. Is Religious Freedom Addressed in Scripture? The Apostle Paul (and his traveling companions on various mission trips) is perhaps the most notable example of a biblical figure who suffered religious persecution and also on occasion stood up for his religious liberty. It is interesting that Paul did so in a government that had some similarities to Western nations. | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/religious-freedom/religious-freedom-addressed-scripture/
  5. What is the significance of the Roman Empire in biblical history? | GotQuestions.org: https://www.gotquestions.org/Roman-empire.html
  6. Defending the Faith in the Political Environment (10 page PDF) – Dr. Ron J. Bigalke: http://isca-apologetics.org/sites/default/files/papers/DrB_ISCA/ISCA_2016_Political.pdf
  7. Walt Russell explains how to read the Bible effectively | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2020/05/31/walt-russell-explains-how-to-read-the-bible-effectively-6/
  8. Dr. Craig is enthusiastic about an article from a former atheist who came to Christ on the strength of arguments for God’s existence. – Reasonable Faith with Dr. William Lane Craig: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/reasonable-faith-podcast/our-divinity-sense-organs/
  9. New Reasons to Doubt Darwinism – Chicken-and-Egg Dilemmas and More: http://faithphilosophy.com/en/science-new-reasons-to-doubt-darwinism.php
  10. Is It Child Abuse To Teach Children About Hell? –: https://tentmakingchristianity.com/is-it-child-abuse-to-teach-children-about-hell/
  11. Evidence John, Son of Zebedee, Wrote the Gospel of John Christian Apologist: https://christian-apologist.com/2020/05/16/evidence-john-son-of-zebedee-wrote-the-gospel-of-john/
  12. Trump Went To Church. The Rest Of The Country Must Follow Now: https://thefederalist.com/2020/06/02/trump-went-to-church-the-rest-of-the-country-must-follow-now/
  13. How To Be Saved – The beauty of a relationship with your Creator is that it is so simple it can be summarized in just one verse (John 3:16); yet so amazingly profound that God gave us 66 books to communicate its truth! | Creation Today: https://creationtoday.org/about/how-to-be-saved/
  14. Sign Evangelism with Janice: Real Peace at Harrison and Locust: https://crossencountersmin.com/featured-article/sign-evangelism-janice-peace/
  15. Understanding the Cambrian Explosion Part 5 Answering Objections: https://biblicalworldviewacademy.org/understanding-the-cambrian-explosion-part-5-answering-objections/

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20

Blessings to you all

Verses to memorize for sexual temptation

It is a fact of life that most men (and many women) battle against sexual temptation.

God has prescribed the way that He wants His children to live. He tests each of our hearts (not just what is on the outside). Here is what He expects to find:

1 Chronicles 29:17a

I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity

Not only is He pleased with integrity, but Jesus even said several times in the Scriptures, that He expects anyone who follows Him (Christians) to deny themselves, rather than to “give-in” to themselves:

Luke 9:23

Then He said to them all: “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.

He wants us to put Him first, not our own evil desires. We need to have the attitude of John the Baptist:

John 3:30

He must become greater; I must become less.

So, to help us along in our quest for holiness, I have listed some verses for you to memorize to help you resist sexual temptation. The Psalmist stated the benefits of memorizing Scripture:

Psalms 119:11

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

The benefit is clear: “that I might not sin againstGod.

I have memorized each of these passages myself and have found them to be of great benefit

Let’s start off the list with one that states God’s mandate very clearly and directly:

1 Corinthians 6:18-20

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

This passage tells me that I am not my own. I can’t just do whatever I want with my body. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. He is living in me and sees everything I do. Which leads me to the next verse:

Hebrews 4:13

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

He sees all and we will have to give account for all He sees. As Ray Comfort commented, “What happens in Vegas stays in God’s mind until Judgment Day.”

Ecclesiastes 12:14

For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

Romans 14:12

So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Am I saying that you’ll be thrown into hell for committing an act of sexual immorality? No. When you were saved, you were justified. All sins, past, present and future were paid for by Jesus’ shed blood on the cross. Yet, we as believers are expected to behave in a way that is “worthy of our calling” (Eph. 4:1). Sexual immorality is definitely worthy of our calling!

God takes sexual immorality – especially the physical act of adultery – very seriously. So seriously, in fact in the Old Covenant with Israel, the penalty was the death sentence for both involved parties:

Deuteronomy 22:22

If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel.

However, sexual immorality is not an external, behavioral issue only (such as adultery). This sin starts in the mind with our own evil desires (James 1:13-14). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus raised the standard of purity so that no one can escape the charge of guilt in this matter:

Matthew 5:27-28
You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Jesus is seeking obedience from those that call Him Lord:

Luke 6:46

Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?

Don’t be a hypocrite, one day calling Jesus Lord and then another day, committing sexual sin.

Job was a godly man and was certainly aware of this standard as he strove to avoid lust in this way:

Job 31:1

I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a young woman.

Daniel was also a godly man, living in exile, in the midst of a vile, wicked, depraved and idolatrous culture. In the beginning of the account, we see his resolution:

Daniel 1:8-9

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel

Have you resolved not to defile yourself by what your eyes consume? Daniel’s strong resolution here ought to challenge and inspire us to do the same. By resolving, he had made up his mind what he was going to do when he was put in that situation. Don’t just wait until that moment of temptation comes to decide what you’re going to do. If that is your approach, you will fail. Rather resolve ahead of time what steps you’re going to take to avoid defiling yourself in sexual sin.

David, a man after God’s own heart, a man acquainted with moral failure (see 2 Samuel 11), resolved not to let sin come through his eyes:

Psalms 101:3

I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all crooked dealings; I will have nothing to do with them.

We need our minds renewed by Scripture so that we no longer conform to the pattern of this world, which is so full of sexual temptation:

Romans 12:2

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is –his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Many of these passages can be summed up in this wise counsel from the Apostle Paul:

Romans 13:14

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

What have you done to “make no provision” for your flesh? There are many practices and safeguards that one can implement, but the one thing we should all be doing is putting on the Lord Jesus Christ daily – that is the number one strategy in this battle. Don’t make it is easy for your flesh to gratify its evil desires!

And, yes, this is absolutely a battle! It is not a battle against flesh and blood, but at the core it is a spiritual battle:

Ephesians 6:12

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

And since it is a spiritual battle, it needs to be fought with spiritual weapons from God:

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

We are human, but we don’t wage war with human plans and methods. We use God’s mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil’s strongholds. With these weapons we break down every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God. With these weapons we conquer their rebellious ideas, and we teach them to obey Christ.

Have you ever considered that when we are committing sexual sin, at that moment, we don’t fear God? Think about that… Even one of the thieves on the cross next to Jesus asked the other thief if he feared God, because it was evident by the way he was talking that he didn’t:

Luke 23:40

But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?”

Unknowingly, the first thief was affirming a great truth of Scripture, often repeated:

Proverbs 9:10

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

And:

Isaiah 8:13

Do not fear anything except the LORD Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear him, you need fear nothing else.

Jesus told His disciples to fear God because of His ability to throw them into hell:

Luke 12:4-5

I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him.

So, yes, the fear of God is a healthy attitude to have and can keep us from committing sexual sin!

Scripture also states that sin will hinder your prayers:

Psalms 66:18

If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;

Do you stumble into sin? Or do you cherish sin? Our goal should be to avoid both, but worse by far is the one who cherishes (or relishes) sin.

Isaiah echoes the same sentiment about our sin causing separation from God. In the context of the following passage, God was speaking to His “people and to the house of Jacob” (Isaiah 58:1):

Isaiah 59:1-2

Listen! The LORD is not too weak to save you, and he is not becoming deaf. He can hear you when you call. But there is a problem — your sins have cut you off from God. Because of your sin, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.

But God gave us the solution for having our prayers heard again:

2 Chronicles 7:14

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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

The essence of that phrase “seek My face and turn from their wicked ways” is the concept of repentance! There is no change and no transformation without repentance – and God commands it!

Acts 17:30

Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,

By the way, after reading this blog, you can no longer claim ignorance.

In the midst of admonishing believers not to argue over foolish and stupid things, the apostle Paul talked about people who are held captive by the devil to do his will:

2 Timothy 2:26

and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

As believers, we ought not be held captive by anyone or anything except Jesus Christ (since we are His slaves). We are told specifically:

Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

Additionally, we as believers ought to be discerning enough and acquainted enough with our own depravity to know what situations, places and people put us into temptation, and that we need to avoid those:

Proverbs 4:26

Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established.

We ought to be able to see the danger ahead and take refuge:

Proverbs 27:12

The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

In addition to pondering where you go and what situations you put yourself into, you need to be intentional about your thoughts:

Philippians 4:8

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.

And:

Colossians 3:2

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Sexual temptation requires much more than casual action, it requires drastic action on our parts! Though we may be “pondering the path of our feet” and thinking about “whatever is pure”, we are still “in the world” (John 17:14-16) and therefore it is possible, with the best of intentions, that we may find ourselves in a tempting situation. The following verse tells me what to do when I encounter anything that stimulates lust – RUN!!!

2 Timothy 2:22

Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith and love and peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts

It is also encouraging me who to hang out with – that’s really important too.

As usual, Jesus ratchets up the response even more with His teaching on how to deal with sin:

Matthew 18:8-9
If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

The eye and the hand are are certainly used to commit much sexual sin… Jesus is not advocating self mutilation here, but this is to be understood as instructing us to take whatever actions are necessary to limit our access to those people, places, situations and technologies that give us opportunities to sin.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God

Not many places in Scripture tell you explicitly what God’s will is – the above passage is one of them. This passage tells me that I need to learn to control my own body. That tells me that it is not “natural” to control my body. I have to go against what feels natural and control my body. Likewise, Paul says:

1 Corinthians 9:27

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Yes, this requires discipline. It is a spiritual battle and therefore demands your daily and even hourly attention so that you do not get caught off guard! In fact elsewhere Paul reminds us to be on our guard:

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.

The Scriptures contain many other such warnings. For example, the apostle Peter warns us to be on our guard, using different words:

1 Peter 5:8

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself even strongly admonished His disciples to keep alert, but added prayer as a way to gain victory over temptation:

Matthew 26:41
Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!

So, how much sexual immorality is acceptable for the child of God?

Ephesians 5:3-6

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person–such a man is an idolater –has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.

The above passage even speaks of God’s wrath as a consequence of these type of behaviors. You don’t want to go there…

The passage below has really helped me. It tells me that as a regenerated follower of Jesus Christ, I do in fact have the power and ability to not let sin reign in my body or to obey my body’s evil desires. What an encouragement that is!

Romans 6:12-13

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.

The above passage raises the question about who you’re letting reign, in other words, who are you serving? Jesus told us you can’t serve two masters:

Luke 16:13

No servant can serve two masters ; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

While the above verse is about money, the same principle applies to your illicit sexual desires.

You know that if you ask some people about why they continue to fall into sexual temptation, they’ll claim that that’s just the way God made them. They have these desires and they were meant to be fulfilled. That is human logic – that’s the way of thinking that “seems right”:

Proverbs 14:12 (&16:25)

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

But that way of thinking really leads to death.

Here’s a good one from Proverbs

Proverbs 14:2

He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, But he who is perverse in his ways despises Him.

This directly ties “upright” behavior to fearing the LORD and “perverse” behavior to despising Him.

Next are some words from Jesus that hit me like a ton of bricks:

John 3:19-20
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

These words are powerful because, in this passage the “light” which has come into the world IS JESUS. So, when it says “everyone who does evil hates the light”, its saying that everyone who does evil hates Jesus! Wow.

Here is a good one from Paul:

Titus 2:11-13

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

This one tells us that God’s grace actually teaches us to “just say no!” to “ungodliness and worldly passions” – that would certainly include lust and sexual sin. But it doesn’t only tell us what to say no to, but it also tells us how to live: “self-controlled, upright and godly lives”. That is a picture of holy living. Notice the phrase “self-controlled”. According to this passage, you have the ability to control your participation in these forms of behavior.

Then, there is the most concentrated teaching on worldliness in all of God’s word:

1 John 2:15-17

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

Notice – this passage talks about 2 things that are directly related to lust and sexual sin: “the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes”. If anyone “loves” this kind of stuff, the love of the Father is not in him. By the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, we need to distance ourselves and reject these kind of worldly affections!

John MacArthur, in his excellent sermon on Romans 7:14-25 says that one of the categories of sin is the “sin of remembrance”. Sometimes, the mind of the believer will wander back to ponder some past sin. We must not allow ourselves to fall into that trap. Peter admonishes us:

1 Peter 1:14

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.

Later on in the same letter, he encourages with the example of Christ Jesus’ suffering:

1 Peter 4:1-5

Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do–living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

Notice, that we are not to live the rest of our earthly lives for “evil human desires” – this includes many things. He goes on to list some of those evil human desires: “debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry“. He ends up the passage by indicating that those who live like this will “have to give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead“. If these behaviors are the impenitent, pattern of your life, it indicates you are not saved.

Then, this one from the author of 1 Kings regarding the prophet Elijah’s challenge to the people to “get off the fence“!

1 Kings 18:21

Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing.

How is this applicable to illicit sexual desire? Just replace the phrase “if Baal is God, follow him” with “if [your sexual desire] is God, follow [it]”. That is what we’re doing when we’re giving in to sexual sin – we’re making it our God. Don’t do that!

Did you know that whenever you’re tempted to sin sexually, God will show you a way out? This is an iron-clad promise – you can take it to the bank. The following passage tells us not to be over confident when you’re in a season of strong obedience, but that we should be careful. Then it explains that we’re in the same boat with others:

1 Corinthians 10:12-13

If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you, too, may fall into the same sin. But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.

Praise the Lord that He is faithful, and that He will not let the temptation become too strong!

Jesus was once asked what was the essential or most important teaching in the old testament:

Matthew 22:36-40

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 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.

Notice that He summed up all the expectations of the believer into 2 concepts – Love God and Love others. We cannot do those 2 things while committing sexual sin!

The following verse may not seem to be related to sexual temptation:

Romans 1:25

They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen.

But if you think about it. Your sexual desire is a created thing. If you worship and serve it (especially in an illicit manner), you are exchanging the truth of God for a lie…

Sometimes, you’ve gotta follow Jesus’ example and just tell Satan to “get lost” if you’re being harassed:

Matthew 4:10

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’

But notice – we not only should be telling Satan to get lost, but we need to be worshiping the Lord our God and serving Him only!

There is a favorite verse of many people that says:

Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Again, what does this have to do with sexual immorality and sexual temptation? Well, if you think of it, you’ll realize that your behavior in the world affects God’s reputation in the world, either positively or negatively. But your behavior does not change whether He exists or whether He is glorious or good. So, if you are behaving in an immoral way you are bringing God into disrepute. Then it can be said of you, as in Romans 2:24 – “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” Serious stuff! Don’t do it – you love God too much for that!

Finally, the passage that has been most helpful to me in battling sexual temptation is:

Matthew 23:24-28
You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

The reason this passage is so powerful for me is that, as a Christian leader and teacher, I receive those words from Jesus as directly applying to me. Especially the finishing line which says “on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness”. That one cuts to the heart. Jesus knows what’s “on the inside” – no one else does. I may be able to fool other people, but I can never fool Jesus. Jesus hated hypocrisy with a holy hatred – probably more than anything else. This chapter records the greatest rebuke he ever delivered regarding sin – the sin of hypocrisy. And sexual sin in the life of a believer makes that person a hypocrite, professing one thing with your lips, but thinking and behaving in opposition to that. So, when I hear Jesus’s rebuke directed at me, my unrighteous desires immediately melt away – its like pouring cold water over me. Paul gives us some very good counsel about how we should be viewing our Christian walk:

Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. 2 Corinthians 7:1

Notice that we already have these promises (that he’d been talking about in the prior chapters – especially chapter 5). So, we are not avoiding sexual sin in order to get saved, but rather, now that we are saved (we have these promises), we are to live in a holy manner. Why? “Out of reverence for God”.

Brothers and sisters, I pray that you are convicted and cut to the heart like I am and that you would memorize each one of these passages so that you might be led away from sin when you’re at the moment of temptation. Remember God always provides a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13) if we are willing to take it.

Appendix

Additional Verses

Psalms 119:9

How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.

Psalms 141:4

Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies.

Psalms 86:11

Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

Psalms 119:37

Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.

Psalms 23:3

he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Psalms 19:14

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

Titus 1:15-16

To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Galatians 5:19-21

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Revelation 21:8

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars –their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Titus 3:3-7

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

John 8:31-32

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Acts 3:19

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,

Romans 7:18-19, 7:24-25a,

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doingWretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Hebrews 4:15-16

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

1 Peter 2:24

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

Philippians 2:3-4

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Hebrews 2:18

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 12:14

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

mid-week apologetics booster (5-28-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1600) from Nuggets:

The only way to deal with sin is to deal with it strongly, is to resist and oppose the first risings of temptation. It has to be dealt with in the heart on the inside. It has to be fought at the point of its incubation, its conception, or it will overpower us, which means that the work of sanctification is a work that God does in which the believer cooperates in his mind. – John MacArthur (from a sermon on Romans 7:14-25 – “Sanctification and Sins of the Mind”) https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/GTY142/sanctification-and-sins-of-the-mind

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. RAVI ZACHARIAS – In tribute, we relive his outstanding (FULL) interview. – YouTube: https://youtu.be/pTO38KMMLSw
  2. Dead Sea Scroll fragments thought to be blank reveal text: https://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/dead-sea-scroll-fragments-thought-to-be-blank-reveal-text/
  3. Principles to Keep in Mind When Evaluating COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories – J. Warner Wallace : https://subspla.sh/bcps3wh
  4. Harvard Prof. Slams Christianity’s Malignant Belief in Afterlife: https://www.breitbart.com/health/2020/05/23/harvard-prof-blames-christianitys-malignant-belief-in-afterlife-for-lockdown-protests/
  5. Kayleigh McEnany’s Emotional Tribute To Ravi Zacharias – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYIY6Scmayc
  6. The Reliability of the Bible: 4 Quick Thoughts | ReasonableTheology.org: https://reasonabletheology.org/reliability-bible-4-quick-thoughts/
  7. Is the Bible True? The Cumulative Case for the Reliability of the Gospels (Free Bible Insert) | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/is-the-bible-true-the-cumulative-case-for-the-reliability-of-the-gospels-free-bible-insert/
  8. Can the Bible Be Reliable if It Had Human Authors?: https://www.str.org/w/can-the-bible-be-reliable-if-it-had-human-authors-
  9. Think Divinely Why the Bible is Reliable: https://thinkdivinely.com/why-the-bible-is-reliable/
  10. The Historical Evidence for Jesus vs. Tiberius Caesar | Sean McDowell: https://seanmcdowell.org/blog/the-historical-evidence-for-jesus-is-greater-than-for-caesar
  11. Harvard Molecular Geneticist Vindicates Michael Behe’s Main Argument in Darwin Devolves | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2020/05/harvard-molecular-geneticist-vindicates-michael-behes-main-argument-in-darwin-devolves/
  12. Does Science Support Miracles? New Study Documents a Blind Woman’s Healing | The Stream: https://stream.org/does-science-support-miracles-new-study-documents-a-blind-womans-healing/
  13. Why did the lead vocalist of a Christian rock band abandon belief in God? | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2020/05/27/why-did-the-lead-vocalist-of-a-christian-rock-band-abandon-belief-in-god/

Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding. Proverbs 23:23

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (5-21-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1600) from Nuggets:

God could deal with this by eliminating all evil at midnight tonight, but if He did so, which one of us would be left at 1 AM? – Michael Licona

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Investigating Bart Ehrman’s Top Ten Troublesome Bible Verses | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/investigating-bart-ehrmans-top-ten-troublesome-bible-verses/
  2. How can a loving God send someone to hell? | GotQuestions.org: https://www.gotquestions.org/loving-God-send-someone-hell.html
  3. The hiddeness of God: Why is God hidden? Why doesn’t He appear? If God exists, why doesn’t He just come and appear to us all? Wouldn’t a loving God do that? A student at the University of Alaska posed that excellent question. Here is my 5-minute response. Dr. Frank Turek Q&A – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZMMYYY0DG4
  4. Starting God-Conversations: Take the Class-Photo Approach. How can you get “God conversations” started where others are interested in engaging instead of arguing with you? How do you set the stage so others won’t be put off before the conversation has begun?: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2016/11/starting-god-conversations-take-class.html
  5. How can it be said that we have everlasting life when we still die? | GotQuestions.org: https://www.gotquestions.org/everlasting-life.html
  6. How should Christians react to The Golden Compass movie?: https://www.gotquestions.org/golden-compass-movie.html
  7. The ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) Now Promoting Praying To ‘Mother God’ After Wiping Israel From NT: https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=4048
  8. Why Don’t Christians Consider the Quran? Dr. Frank Turek (Q&A): https://youtu.be/mqckv2dm8mU
  9. Zoom and Doom: Company Accused Of Corrupting Bible Class Through Pornographic Zoombombing JONATHAN TURLEY: https://jonathanturley.org/2020/05/15/zoom-and-doom-company-accused-of-corrupting-bible-class-through-pornographic-zoombombing/
  10. How American Christianity Lost the Evangelical Mind The Virtual Office of Rob Lundberg: https://roblundbergapologetics.com/2020/05/16/how-american-christianity-lost-the-evangelical-mind/
  11. Tapir – Studies of young children in various countries reveal they see nature as logically having been designed, not by people but by a Creator God – even children who have never received any such instruction…According to evolution, all living things are related. Evolutionists have nominated the rhinoceros and the horse as being the tapirs closest relatives. The three occupy the order Perissodactyla, which includes all hoofed animals having an odd number of toes on their hind feet. creation.com: https://creation.com/tapir
  12. Global Persecution Report: ‘Christians Are the Most Persecuted …and It’s Accelerating’ | CBN News: https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/politics/2019/april/global-persecution-report-christians-are-the-most-persecuted-and-its-accelerating
  13. Ninth Circuit rules California churches can fight abortion coverage mandate: https://www.liveaction.org/news/ninth-circuit-california-churches-fight-abortion-mandate/
  14. Obituary: Ravi Zacharias | RZIM: https://www.rzim.org/read/rzim-updates/ravi-zacharias-obituary

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:32-34

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (5-14-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1600) from Nuggets:

Faith isn’t going anywhere and neither is disagreement. We must learn to debate the ideas and the implications  of those ideas without affirming that everyone’s view is equally valid on the one hand or demonizing those with whom we disagree on the other—this is what is truly dangerous for society. Persuasion rather than coercion is the only reasonable way forward.

– Is God Just a Human Invention and Seventeen  Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Is Euthanasia a Biblical Solution to Terminal Illness or Suffering? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/sanctity-of-life/euthanasia/biblical-solution-terminal-illness-or-suffering/
  2. The Historical Jesus vs. the Historical Buddha | Sean McDowell: https://seanmcdowell.org/blog/the-historical-jesus-vs-the-historical-buddha
  3. Dinosaurs in the Bible and on the Ark – creation.com: https://creation.com/media-center/youtube/dinosaurs-in-the-bible-and-on-the-ark-creation-magazine-live-8-05
  4. Why the Appearance of Design in Biology Is a Problem for Atheistic Naturalism | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/why-the-appearance-of-design-in-biology-is-a-problem-for-atheistic-naturalism/
  5. Does the Cumulative Case for Design Point to a Divine Designer? | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/does-the-cumulative-case-for-design-point-to-a-divine-designer/
  6. Should Christian women wear head coverings? | GotQuestions.org: https://www.gotquestions.org/head-coverings.html
  7. 1 Corinthians 7:12 – Gods Word or Paul’s Personal Opinion? Biola Magazine: http://magazine.biola.edu/article/08-summer/gods-word-or-pauls-personal-opinion/
  8. In What Sense Is Man the Head of Woman? – Christian Courier: https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1137-in-what-sense-is-man-the-head-of-woman
  9. Losing Joseph, Finding Jesus | Beggar’s Bread: https://beggarsbread.org/2020/05/10/losing-joseph-finding-jesus/
  10. What if God says “Murder is good?” – Frank Turek in Q&A session: https://youtu.be/F2CdJZJd3BI
  11. Were the Gospels written by the disciples originally in Greek? Frank Turek during Q&A session: https://youtu.be/zOvl0SYh6Tw
  12. Why Moses’ Version of the Flood is the Most Reliable Ancient Account (J. Warner Wallace Lecture) – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMnjX-VgPMk
  13. Where is God in a Coronavirus World? | John Lennox, Michael Ramsden | RZIM – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvLfuMlAi18
  14. How to Disagree Better about COVID-1How to Disagree Better about COVID-19, Conspiracy Theories, and Pretty Much Everything Else in Life, Conspiracy Theories, and Pretty Much Everything Else in Life: http://christianmomthoughts.com/how-to-disagree-better-about-covid-19-conspiracy-theories-and-pretty-much-everything-else-in-life/

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7

Blessings to you all

Leftist Values vs. Judeo-Christian Values

I posted this meme on social media recently:

Then an acquaintance of mine (a fellow Christian) replied in the comments section with:

Let’s quit comparing our political beliefs and our faith. Ok??

Here is how I responded

First off, I want to say that our shared identities as children of the Living God, and therefore members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19-20), is much more important than the topic I am about to discuss with you.  So, while I am a firm believer that debate and exchange of ideas is very healthy, in fact, a foundation of our free and open society, I would not want to divide with you over this.  It is for this very reason that I would like to give a thorough response – more thorough than is allowed via social media.

First, I should say that I am of the opinion that there is a difference between these 3 terms:

  1. Leftist
  2. Liberal
  3. Democrat

I don’t think they are all equal.  So, when referring to leftist, I wasn’t referring to all liberals or all democrats.  Leftists are a subset of liberals, who are a subset of Democrats.

Here are some of the values that have emanated from leftist ideology:

  1. Same-sex marriage. Flowing from that Supreme Court decision (Obergefell v. Hodges June 26th, 2015) are the following consequences:
    1. Christian bakers who can’t in good conscience design and create wedding cakes that celebrate same-sex marriages taken to court (e.g. Jack Phillips, 2017)
    2. Christian photographers who won’t take photos at a same-sex wedding based on conscience objections and are sued for discrimination (e.g. Elane Photography 2013/2014)
    3. Sexual indoctrination of school children such that (in California) starting from kindergarten children are taught that LGBT life-style is “normal”
    4. Drag queen story hour for children, drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores.
    5. The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court.
    6. Making sexual orientation and gender identity “protected class” infringes on religious freedom.
  2. Elective Abortion on-demand (up to the point of birth and sometimes, during or after birth). Flowing from this “value” are policy decisions such as:
    1. Teen age girls can get abortion inducing drugs without their parent’s consent.
    2. Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the U.S. (over 300,000 in 2018), receives roughly ½ billion dollars from the federal government
    3. The Affordable Care Act which required companies with more than 50 employees to provide health care insurance. In implementing the law, HHS named 20 kinds of contraception that needed to be covered by employers (some of which were abortifacients). Hobby Lobby was ultimately sued for not complying with this.  Thankfully, the Supreme Court ruled in their favor.
    4. A decision by Chick-fil-A to donate food to a pro-biblical marriage seminar caused a university to pull the franchise’s food
    5. Little Sisters of the Poor taken to court
    6. Leftists are no longer content with abortion being “safe, legal and rare”
  3. Gender “non-binary” –the idea that there are more than 2 genders. Biden says there are at least 3 genders.
  4. Gender “fluidity” – the idea that a person’s view of their own gender can change many times and must be adhered to and respected by society
  5. Flowing from the redefinition of gender in the 2 points above are policy decisions such as:
    1. Biological males can use female bathrooms if they decide they feel like a female
    2. Biological males can sign up for female sports teams and compete against biological females in sports where strength or speed is important (note – 17 states allow this)
    3. Biological Males can use female locker-rooms if they “identify as” female.
    4. Children can be given puberty suppressing drugs.
  6. Famous voices on the left accuse Christians of being narrow minded and arrogant for proclaiming that Jesus is the only way of salvation (e.g. Oprah Winfrey)

The above are just a few examples, I could go on and on.

In my opinion, the above values are not “Judeo-Christian” values.  I strive to live my life according to the Bible, and when anti-biblical values are promoted, I want to call attention to those who may not be aware of it, since these types of issues tend not to be reported in main stream media outlets (Washington Post, New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS and many others).

What are “Judeo-Christian values”?

I would not characterize my faith as Judeo-Christian, but rather Christian. I’m a born-again, Bible-believing, committed follower of Jesus Christ.  That being said, part of a “biblical worldview” is in fact “Judeo-Christian” values or ethics. Judeo-Christian values are those values which are drawn from the Bible.  The term first appeared in a book review by George Orwell in 1939, with the phrase “Judeo-Christian scheme of morals.”  Judeo-Christian values consist of those beliefs and mores which Christianity derives from and shares with Judaism, including a belief in God as a benevolent, omnipotent creator, and the Ten Commandments. The United States certainly has a Judeo-Christian heritage.  If you doubt this at all, I highly recommend that you watch David Barton’s excellent “American Heritage Series” or America’s Godly Heritage.  Moses holding the Ten Commandments is built into the United States Supreme Court building:

I greatly value free-speech and freedom of religion, both of which are enshrined in the Bill of Rights.  I’m very disappointed about the trend of conservative speakers being shouted down on college campuses all over the US.

So, by posting this, I was attempting to draw attention to leftist values that many may not be aware of.  I’m not saying that everyone who is a liberal or a democrat supports these values, but I do not want to support those espousing those values mentioned above.

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this and would like to emphasize that my intent in making the post was not to offend, but to draw attention to the issue and invite courteous discussion.

Thanks for engaging with me on this topic!

mid-week apologetics booster (5-7-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1600) from Nuggets:

In God’s universe, nobody really “gets away” with anything. – Dr. Michael Brown

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Mount St. Helen’s, Living Laboratory for 40 Years – Nothing put a damper on uniformitarianism like the Mount St. Helen’s eruption on May 18, 1980. That explosion still echoes through the halls of the scientific establishment 40 years later. | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/mount-st-helens-living-laboratory-40-years/
  2. Bobby Conway interviews Natasha Crain – What’s In Your Control As A Christian Parent?: https://www.facebook.com/OneMinuteApologist/videos/543119703291763
  3. Should Christians be motivated by the fear of missing out (FOMO)? | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2020/05/01/should-christians-be-motivated-by-the-fear-of-missing-out-fomo-3/
  4. How The Atheist-Communist Soviet Union Tried to Eliminate Religion Bishop’s Encyclopedia of Religion, Society and Philosophy: https://jamesbishopblog.com/2020/05/03/how-the-atheist-communist-soviet-union-tried-to-eliminate-religion/
  5. How to Trust God During the Coronavirus Outbreak | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/coronavirus/pandemic-provision-trust-god-during-coronavirus-outbreak/
  6. The Frustrating Fallacy of Friendship Evangelism | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/the-frustrating-fallacy-of-friendship-evangelism/
  7. 10 Questions Churches Should Ask Their Gen Z Members | Facts & Trends: https://factsandtrends.net/2020/02/17/10-questions-churches-should-ask-their-gen-z-members/
  8. The One Dollar Apologist Called to One, Not Millions Women in Apologetics: https://womeninapologetics.com/the-one-dollar-apologist-called-to-one-not-millions/
  9. Could the Universe be Eternal? – Jesus is Not Fake News: https://jesusisnotfakenews.com/could-the-universe-be-eternal/
  10. In Case You Missed It : An In depth Study of the New Apostolic Reformation Movement Reasoned Cases for Christ: https://bcooper.wordpress.com/2020/02/11/in-case-you-missed-it-an-indepth-study-of-the-new-apostolic-reformation-movement/
  11. How Can We Be Pro-Life and Pro-Death Penalty at the Same Time? | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/how-can-we-be-pro-life-and-pro-death-penalty-at-the-same-time/
  12. Good News: Crisis has Closed Churches, but Americans Feeling more Religious Anyway: https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/culture/matt-philbin/2020/05/05/good-news-crisis-has-closed-churches-americans-feeling-more
  13. Our Ancestors Would Be Amazed At Our Cowardly Coronavirus Hysteria: https://thefederalist.com/2020/05/06/our-ancestors-would-be-amazed-at-our-cowardly-coronavirus-hysteria/

“Now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong.  O Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our fathers have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us.  Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary.” – Daniel 9:15-17

Blessings to you all

Verses to memorize for sexual temptation

Good reminders… I have updated this post with many more verses and commentary!

1 Peter 4:12-16

It is a fact of life that most men (and many women) battle against sexual temptation.

God has prescribed the way that He wants His children to live. He tests each of our hearts (not just what is on the outside). Here is what He expects to find:

1 Chronicles 29:17a

I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity

So, to help us along in our quest for holiness, I have listed some verses for you to memorize to help you resist this type of sexual temptation. I have memorized each of these passages myself and have found them to be of great benefit:

1 Corinthians 6:18-20

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy…

View original post 2,319 more words

mid-week apologetics booster (4-30-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1600) from Nuggets:

It is flying in the face of Gods purposes to do as many do to make the soul a servant to the body and not the body a servant to the soul. – J.C. Ryle

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. How to respond to an atheist who complains about slavery in the Bible | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2020/04/23/how-to-respond-to-an-atheist-who-complains-about-slavery-in-the-bible-4/
  2. 8 Things Christian Parents Should Consider Before Sending Kids Back to Public or Private School This Fall: http://christianmomthoughts.com/8-things-christian-parents-should-consider-before-sending-kids-back-to-public-or-private-school-this-fall/
  3. When is civil disobedience allowed for a Christian? | GotQuestions.org: https://www.gotquestions.org/civil-disobedience.html
  4. Why Do Two People See the Same Evidence Differently? | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/why-do-two-people-see-the-same-evidence-differently/
  5. Why It’s Important to Understand the Difference Between Facts and Inferences (Video) | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/videos/why-its-important-to-understand-the-difference-between-facts-and-inferences-video/
  6. Free Movies from Living Waters that can be watched on YouTube: https://www.livingwaters.com/movies/
  7. Virus Brings Unlikely Faith Fellows Together: https://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=WA20D56&f=WU20D17
  8. Frank Turek in Britain giving lecture on “Is the New Testament True?”: https://youtu.be/iuV3Qv4whNY
  9. 4 Historical Facts that Prove Jesus Really Did Rise from the Dead (Interview of Dr. William Lane Craig) – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmKg62GDqF4
  10. An Empirical Argument for Intelligent Design – Michael Behe Dallas Science Faith Conference 2020 – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24t2eCjPbq4
  11. Robert Gagnon debates gay activist Jayne Ozanne on Bible vs homosexuality | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2020/04/26/robert-gagnon-debates-gay-activist-jayne-ozanne-on-bible-vs-homosexuality-6/
  12. 4 Ways to Not Be a Coronavirus Divorce Statistic | FamilyLife: https://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/marriage/divorce/rise-in-divorces-4-ways-to-not-be-a-coronavirus-statistic/
  13. The coherent creation worldview – People often think of creation vs evolution in terms of the evidence for or against each position. But really it’s much more foundational than that. Creation and evolution are two entirely different ways of looking at the world, each with their own origin story, morality, anthropology, and even eschatology.: https://creation.com/coherent-creation-worldview
  14. Cain’s Wife The subject of Cain’s wife is often used as an excuse for not believing the account in Genesis: https://creationmoments.com/sermons/cains-wife/
  15. Who Was Cain’s Wife? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/cain/who-was-cains-wife/
  16. Faith With Works is Alive! – James, in his epistle, says, Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead (2:17). His stark warning is spiritual food for thought. Yet it also raises this question: What does faith look like if it does have works? For the answer, we turn to three well-known Bible stories.: https://www.thomasnelsonbibles.com/faith-with-works-is-alive/
  17. What First Century Christians Could Teach Us Today: https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=4001
  18. Evidence for Hebrews in Egypt – creation.com: https://creation.com/hebrew-egypt-evidence
  19. The One Thing That Turns Teaching Into Training (5 minute 39 second Video) | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/videos/the-one-thing-that-turns-teaching-into-training-video/
  20. Stop Teaching Young Christians About Their Faith | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/stop-teaching-young-christians-about-their-faith/
  21. Ex-Muslim Once Chanted ‘Death To America!’ Now, He’s Saving Iranians | CBN News: https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/2020/april/ex-muslim-once-chanted-death-to-america-now-hes-saving-iranians
  22. Interview with computer scientist Ed Knorr – creation.com: https://creation.com/ed-knorr-interview

Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool– how much worse lying lips to a ruler! Proverbs 17:7

Blessings to you all

AWANA meetings in the age of COVID-19

As with everything else nowadays, AWANA is likewise affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our AWANA program has chosen to meet each Wednesday at the normal times via Zoom video. Surprisingly, I would estimate that at least 75% of the kids still attended once we went virtual. We start off at the intro Zoom meeting with all the clubbers together – praying, reciting the pledges, singing the AWANA song and hearing a short lesson. Our AWANA director has been very creative in trying to stay faithful to our original AWANA calendar themes that had been planned – here is the calendar for March/April:

She encouraged parents to take pictures or video of themselves and their kids doing some of these activities (such as hiking, pool or shopping) and then she made a video of the submitted activities.

Counsel time for our club (Truth & Training) is prepared by our director ahead of time and posted on YouTube. Parents are expected to have the clubbers watch the counsel time lesson before the night’s activities start. Then, after the main Zoom meeting, we break off into handbook time. I have two 4th graders who have faithfully attended each week since we’ve been meeting virtually:

Actually, I think this has worked out very well. The two clubbers I have were prepared and engaged each week and we had some great conversations. I think there was actually less distraction and “goofing around” in the virtual meeting compared to the normal handbook time.

Our small group had some great discussions about the following topics:

  1. Faith in light of the current coronavirus crisis
  2. The plausibility of Noah’s ark fitting all the animals (when discussing some verses from Genesis 6)
  3. The Trinity (while discussing the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23). Emphasis being that the Trinity is One God, revealed in Three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is a mystery, but it is not a contradiction.
  4. The topic of who or what you’re living your life for. Are you living your life for XBox/Fortnite or for Jesus? If it is for Jesus, does your life show that?
  5. The spiritual rebirth (being born again) and righteousness – both behavioral and “imputed” (while discussing Ephesians 2:10 and 1 Timothy 6:11). During the discussion on being born again, as I explained to them what it means to be born again. I taught them the meaning of a saying that I will never forget: “born twice, die once; born once, die twice”. They really liked that one once I explained it to them.
  6. The reality of heaven and hell while we were discussing the “path of life”. We discussed how each person has the choice where they go.

I have treasured these times and I hope they have been meaningful for these 2 clubbers as well! One of them even asked if we could continue to meet over the summer!

Praise be to God!

mid-week apologetics booster (4-23-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1600) from Nuggets:

Agape love. This is God’s kind of love. He doesn’t love us because we are so lovable, he loves us because He’s so loving. – The Love Dare

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. To Obey or Not to Obey – That Is the Question – Shane Idleman: https://shaneidleman.com/2020/04/16/to-obey-or-not-to-obey-that-is-the-question/
  2. J.P. Moreland Talking about Empirically Equivalent Theories 1 Peter 4:12-16: https://1peter41216.wordpress.com/2020/04/17/j-p-moreland-talking-about-empircally-equivalent-theories/
  3. Possible Dinosaur DNA Has Been Found – Scientific American: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/possible-dinosaur-dna-has-been-found/
  4. What does the Christian fish symbol mean (ixthus / icthus)? | GotQuestions.org: https://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-fish-symbol.html
  5. Jesus Fish/Darwin Fish – The fish, one of Christianity’s oldest, is probably also the best known…Its popularity has spawned a parody: the Darwin fish. The Darwin fish redesigns the Christian symbol as a missing link, evolving it with legs and feet in mockery of the Christian faith – creation.com: https://creation.com/jesus-fish-darwin-fish
  6. Duplicity in the Bible? – creation.com: https://creation.com/duplicity-in-the-bible
  7. Lutherans Publish New Bible Version That Omits The Word ‘Israel’: https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=3990
  8. 3 Reasons Why People Don’t Believe In God Coffeehouse Questions: https://coffeehousequestions.com/2020/04/21/3-reasons-why-people-dont-believe-in-god/
  9. Why Arizona doesn’t force taxpayers to fund abortion Arizona Capitol Times: https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2020/04/21/why-arizona-doesnt-force-taxpayers-to-fund-abortion/
  10. Frank Turek interviews Charlie Kirk founder of Turning Point USA: https://subspla.sh/r4fddgj

Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred. Proverbs 15:17

Blessings to you all

J.P. Moreland Talking about “Empircally Equivalent Theories”

I want to get before your mind, the notion of empirically equivalent theories. Two theories are “empirically equivalent” just in case they’re consistent with the same observations. So if two theories are empirically equivalent, there can be no observation, in principal, that counts in favor of one of those theories vs. the other. Now, the claim that “I am my brain” and the claim that “I am a soul that uses my brain” are empirically equivalent claims. There is no scientific test, there is no empirical observation that can be used to decide which of those are true.

 

– J.P. Moreland, “The Existence of the Soul”

mid-week apologetics booster (4-16-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1600) from Nuggets:

Impress on my mind the shortness of time, the work to be engaged in, the account to be rendered, the nearness of eternity. – Valley of Vision

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. C. S. Lewis Advice To Students During A Pandemic Will Do Us Good: https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/09/c-s-lewis-advice-to-students-during-a-pandemic-will-do-all-our-souls-good-right-now/
  2. Placing the Cross in History – Can we know the exact date of Christs death? The Bibles firsthand accounts give us plenty of historical details that narrow down when it fell within the Roman Empires tumultuous early days. | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/jesus/crucifixion/placing-the-cross-in-history/
  3. One of the Greatest Gifts to Give Your Kids This Easter is a Sense of Hopelessness: http://christianmomthoughts.com/one-of-the-greatest-gifts-to-give-your-kids-this-easter-is-a-sense-of-hopelessness/
  4. Letter to An Aspiring Christian Apologist | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/letter-to-an-aspiring-christian-apologist/
  5. How to Be a One Dollar Apologist in the Second Half of Life | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/how-to-be-a-one-dollar-apologist-in-the-second-half-of-life/
  6. Why I Believe in Jesus Resurrection – The Real Issue Apologetics Ministry: https://roblundbergapologetics.com/2020/04/11/why-i-believe-in-jesus-resurrection/
  7. Are Ghosts Real? Many people claim to have experiences with what are commonly known as ghosts. There are many TV shows and movies that encourage these ideas. The standard view is that these are the deceased spirits of real people. But is this the case? – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MUxkuiz6J8&feature=emb_logo
  8. “The most influential life in history.” This is from the I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist podcast (Frank Turek): https://subspla.sh/c8t5ywz
  9. Joe Average – design of life | Living Waters: https://youtu.be/f4gkpcLitL8
  10. 4 Tips for Slaying Pornzilla. “It is impossible for a man to be freed from the habit of sin before he hates it.” – Ignatius | Living Waters: https://www.livingwaters.com/4-tips-for-slaying-pornzilla/
  11. A Look at the Cognitive Dissonance Objection THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2020/04/12/a-look-at-the-cognition-dissonance-objection/

The wicked man earns deceptive wages, but he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward. The truly righteous man attains life, but he who pursues evil goes to his death. Proverbs 11:18-19

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (4-9-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1600) from Nuggets:

Allegedly, the atomic scientist Enrico Fermi was once discussing the topic of extraterrestrial life when he asked the profound question: “Where is everybody?” Since there are multiple billions of planets in our galaxy, and since in the secular view these are all accidents, it is almost inevitable that some of these had the right conditions for life to evolve, and if some of these worlds are billions of years older than ours, then at least some of them would have evolved intelligent life eons ago. The universe should therefore have countless numbers of technologically superior civilizations, any one of which could have colonized our galaxy ages ago. Yet we find no evidence of these civilizations: “Where is everybody?” This problem has become known as the “Fermi paradox.”  This paradox for evolution is a feature of creation.  The earth is designed for life. With its oceans of liquid water, a protective atmosphere containing abundant free oxygen, and a distance from the sun that is just right for life, earth was certainly designed by God to be inhabited. The other planets of the universe were not. From the sulfuric acid clouds of Venus to the frozen wasteland of Pluto, the other worlds of the solar system are beautiful and diverse, but they are not designed for life.  – Dr. Jason Lisle

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Record low number of Americans (only 6%) hold biblical worldview, recent Barna survey says: https://www.christianpost.com/news/record-low-number-of-americans-hold-biblical-worldview-survey-says.html
  2. Be Prepared to Share: 1 Peter 3:15 – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pJoehrRa8Q&feature=emb_logo
  3. If God, Why the Coronavirus?: https://youtu.be/KQfmcdrnH6g
  4. Coronavirus – Tom Hanks points people toward faith in God: https://youtu.be/Jyl3wOazMqo
  5. Dr. Frank Turek interviews MD about coronavirus (03/21/20): https://subspla.sh/vsr3sbq
  6. Here’s How to Use Precious Family Time, Wisely | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2020/04/heres-how-to-use-precious-family-time-wisely/
  7. Puppies and Pandemics | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/puppies-and-pandemics/
  8. Racial mixing is perfectly biblical! – creation.com: https://creation.com/racial-mixing
  9. RNA Virus Genome Decay Confirms Creation | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/rna-virus-genome-decay-confirms-creation/
  10. Teaching Kids About Creation During Quarantine | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/teaching-kids-about-creation-during-quarantine/
  11. Three Positives from COVID-19 | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/three-positives-from-covid-19/
  12. RNA Virus Origins Fit Genesis Creation | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/rna-virus-origins-fit-genesis-creation/
  13. Is Jesus Christ God? Who do you say Jesus is? Take care in your answer, it’s the most important one you’ll ever give. In this message, Dr. Stanley teaches from the Gospel of John, illuminating exactly who Jesus is God Himself. What you believe about this carpenter from Nazareth not only determines your life here and now, but also in eternity. Discover how Jesus is the perfect image of God the Father.: https://www.intouch.org/watch/is-jesus-christ-god
  14. Quarantine Questionnaire: Does Christian Hypocrisy Falsify Christianity? | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/quarantine-questionnaire-does-christian-hypocrisy-falsify-christianity/

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing… Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:18-19,24-25a

Blessings to you all

Corona Virus (COVID-19) Thoughts – Updated

We’ve now been through 18 days of shut-down.  I have to be blunt about this.  We MUST open this economy back up. I tolerated the 15 day shut-down, but adding the additional month was the wrong decision.  Here are the reasons why:

  1. Hydroxychloroquine is working both in the United States and across the world according to a poll of over 6,000 doctors (see article and article from CDC)
  2. Other treatments (or potential treatments) exist:
    1. Convalescent Plasma treatment (see article about treatments beginning in US and this article about usage in UK)
    2. Remdesivir (see article about FDA approval and article from CDC)
    3. Neutralizing antibodies as a CURE for COVID-19 (see article and interview)
  3. We can walk and chew gum at the same time (see article here)
  4. We have ability to know who’s immune to this (see article on antibody testing)
  5. The United States is not “monolithic”. We can’t have a one-size-fits-all approach for the crisis.  Remember, we have a Federalist system and each state can implement policies that make sense for their individual situations (see article here)
  6. We have constitutional rights – the right to due process, the right to associate, etc. (see article here)
  7. The Democrat party is using this as an opportunity to ram through their liberal agenda (see article here)
  8. “The models” have shown inaccuracies (see article here).
  9. We are still well below the number of influenza deaths so far this year (24,000)
  10. Economic shutdown causing human suffering and, yes, death (see article here) – we are plunging millions of people into misery and poverty because of the shut-down of our economy. 1 in 4 businesses are on the brink of permanent collapse.  According to the nationwide survey of roughly 500 small business owners including individuals in Alaska and Hawaii, 24 percent, or one in four said they are just two months or less from closing their doors for good (see article here)

By the way, you may want to read the real timeline of the coronavirus here so that you can see the actions taken by the Trump administration and that the right things were done early on.

This is a pivotal moment in the history of our country.  We are headed for a depression if we don’t change course.

In all this, I trust God.  That does not mean that I should not try to convince others to change course on this issue.

mid-week apologetics booster (4-2-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1600) from Nuggets:

One reason Christianity has failed to exert much influence on the major intellectual institutions of America is that too many Christians hold their beliefs in an uninformed and precarious fashion. Instead of pursuing answers to the toughest questions an unbelieving world can marshal, they attempt to preserve certainty through ignorance and isolation, relying on platitudes rather than arguments. – Douglas Groothuis

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. An Easy Way to Explain the Role of Apologetics in a Christian’s Life THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2020/03/25/an-easy-way-to-explain-the-role-of-apologetics-in-a-christians-life-3/
  2. Origins of pathogenic microbes: part 1 – The vast majority of microbes do not inflict damage on their hosts. They are non-pathogenic. The majority of microbes inhabiting humans are classically harmless commensals (one organism benefits, the other is not harmed or benefited). Microbes are present in large numbers in and on the human body and ensure our survival. They aid digestion and provide nutrients necessary for our well-being.: https://creation.com/origins-of-pathogenic-microbes-1
  3. Illustra Media videos on intelligent design are FREE to watch for 2 months | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2020/03/26/illustra-media-videos-on-intelligent-design-are-free-to-watch-for-2-months/
  4. A Trillion First Responders | To keep us safe, our body coordinates with a vast network of foreign agents that have joined our side.: https://answersingenesis.org/human-body/trillion-first-responders/
  5. Pope: Confess sins directly to God if no priests available during virus pandemic – The Christian Post: https://www.christianpost.com/news/pope-confess-sins-directly-to-god-if-no-priests-available-during-virus-pandemic.html
  6. Here’s why there’s more evidence for Christianity than you might think – J. Warner Wallace : https://youtu.be/UcqeQG5l3Yk
  7. Nearly half of young adults with ties to Christianity say church can’t answer their questions: survey – The Christian Post: https://www.christianpost.com/news/nearly-half-of-young-adults-with-ties-to-christianity-say-church-cant-answer-their-questions-survey.html
  8. COVID-19s Impact on AiG and a Biblical Response by Ken Ham | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2020/03/27/covid19s-impact-on-aig-and-biblical-response-by-ken-ham/
  9. The Ultimate Proof of Creation-Dr. Jason Lisle : https://youtu.be/-j9-cyRbFcs
  10. PDF – PREPARING Your CHURCH for Coronavirus (COVID-19) A Step-by-Step, Research-Informed and Faith-Based Planning Manual: https://www.wheaton.edu/media/humanitarian-disaster-institute/Preparing-Your-Church-for-Coronavirus.pdf
  11. 5 Ways to Disciple Your Kids and Love Your Neighbor Through the Coronavirus Pandemic – Mama Bear Apologetics: https://mamabearapologetics.com/coronavirus/
  12. Can Science Explain Everything? Book Review | Sean McDowell: https://seanmcdowell.org/blog/can-science-explain-everything-book-review
  13. Majority of Americans praying for an end to the coronavirus pandemic: Pew Research Center poll – Washington Times: https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/mar/31/majority-of-americans-praying-for-an-end-to-the-co/
  14. Bart Ehrman Has a Change of Heart (no, he’s not saying Christianity is true…): https://thinktheology.co.uk/blog/article/bart_ehrman_has_a_change_of_heart
  15. You’re Probably Doing It Wrong: Tips for Speaking to a Camera | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/youre-probably-doing-it-wrong-tips-speaking-camera
  16. NYT Ignores The Evidence To Slander Christians As Coronavirus Deniers: https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/01/new-york-times-ignores-the-evidence-to-slander-christians-as-coronavirus-deniers/
  17. What is a Christian to do with Politics?: A Look at Politics and Worldview Integration (video) – THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2020/04/01/what-is-a-christian-to-do-with-politics-a-look-at-politics-and-worldview-integration/
  18. What Are the Most Powerful Arguments for the Existence of God? | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/what-are-most-powerful-arguments-existence-god
  19. This Month’s Issue of Acts and Facts | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/aaf/index/
  20. Milking Roaches for All They’re Worth | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/creepy-crawlies/insects/milking-roaches-all-theyre-worth-unlikely-reminder-gods-provision/

I will take vengeance in anger and wrath upon the nations that have not obeyed me. Micah 5:15

Blessings to you all

35 Passages You Can Pray Back to God

What follows is a list of 35 passages which you can either pray directly to God (word for word), or you can slightly modify the words to direct them as a prayer to Him:

  1. Psalm 86:11 – Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
  2. Psalm 139:1-4 – O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
  3. Psalm 139:13-16 – For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
  4. Psalm 139:23-24 – Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
  5. 1 Chronicles 29:17a – I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity
  6. Psalm 43:5 – Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
  7. Psalm 144:3-4 – O LORD, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.
  8. Psalm 69:5 – O God, You know my foolishness; and my sins are not hidden from You.
  9. Psalm 25:3a – No one whose hope is in You will ever be put to shame
  10. Psalm 140:6b – You are my God; Give ear, O LORD, to the voice of my supplications.
  11. Psalm 19:14 – Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.
  12. Psalm 79:9 – Help us, O God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake.
  13. Psalm 90:12 – Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
  14. Psalm 27:4 – One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
  15. Psalm 141:3-4 – Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies.
  16. Psalm 119:36-37 – Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
  17. Psalm 119:105 – Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
  18. Psalm 119:61 – Though the wicked bind me with ropes, I will not forget your law.
  19. Psalm 51:1-17 – Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.  Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.  Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.  Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.  Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.  Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.  Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.  Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.  Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.  Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.  O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.  You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
  20. Psalm 56:4 – O God, I praise your word. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?
  21. Psalm 119:11 – I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
  22. Proverbs 30:7-9 – Two things I ask of you, O LORD; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
  23. Habakkuk 3:17-18 – Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
  24. Mark 9:24b – I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!
  25. Luke 22:42 – Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.
  26. Luke 23:42b – Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
  27. Luke 18:13b – God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
  28. Luke 23:34 – Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.
  29. John 17:17 – Sanctify them in the Truth; Your word is Truth
  30. John 20:28b – (to Jesus) “My Lord and My God”
  31. Romans 7:24-25a – Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
  32. 2 Corinthians 9:15 – Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
  33. Hebrews 13:6b – The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
  34. Jude 24-25 – Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.
  35. Revelation 4:11 – You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.

You may be able to think of many more, but this is a good start.  May this enhance and enrich your prayer life!

mid-week apologetics booster (3-26-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1600) from Nuggets:

God is more concerned with our character than our comfort. God is more concerned with our holiness than our happiness – Tim Barnett

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Quarantine Questionnaire: Reasons Why People Reject the Claims of Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/quarantine-questionnaire-reasons-why-people-reject-the-claims-of-christianity/
  2. God’s absence – revisiting the divine hiddenness argument: http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2020/01/gods-absence.html
  3. Is Something Evil Only If It Harms Others? https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/is-something-evil-only-if-it-harms-others
  4. What Would Jesus Say About the Corona Virus? | The Cripplegate: https://thecripplegate.com/what-would-jesus-say-about-the-coronavirus/
  5. How the Resurrection of Jesus Makes a Difference in Dealing with the COVID-19 Virus THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM: https://chab123.wordpress.com/2020/03/21/how-the-resurrection-of-jesus-makes-a-difference-in-dealing-with-the-covid-19-virus/
  6. Amid Plague, their Deeds Were on Everyone’s Lips: How Christianity Conquered Rome BibleMesh: https://biblemesh.com/blog/amid-plague-their-deeds-were-on-everyones-lips-how-christianity-conquered-rome/
  7. Quarantined Together: Can Your Marriage Take It? | Family Life: https://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/life-issues/quarantined-from-covid-19-will-it-hurt-your-marriage/
  8. My Disagreements With The Virus Response | Thomistic Bent: https://humblesmith.wordpress.com/2020/03/21/my-disagreements-with-the-virus-response/
  9. Pandemics, Plagues, End Times, Disease: https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/does-the-bible-talk-about-pandemics/
  10. Living in Plague Times – Philip Yancey: https://philipyancey.com/living-in-plague-times?fbclid=IwAR339ekQ44k4_0vGZ3HtcCo-14aKjUASkTPswQr7slvEgAbRgJt5e7T2Xj4

But before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste. Isaiah 7:16

Blessings to you all

My Disagreements With The Virus Response

This is a must read! So clear and compelling

Thomistic Bent

What are we to think of the current response to the covid-19 coronavirus?

We are told that the disease is so deadly that it could overwhelm the medical communities’ ability to deal with it. Italy’s medical community seems stretched, and the risk is that doctors will not be able to treat sick patients, causing unnecessary death. So in response, governments have shut businesses, mandated that people stay home, and are preventing people from visiting family members in nursing homes. All public gatherings are to stop, including sports games, restaurants, bars, and any place of business that gathers people.

I am bothered by this response, while many of my friends and family are perfectly willing to accept it. Let me take time to explain why the issues are so vital.

My rejection of the current coronavirus response is not due to being isolated in my home. I am basically an introvert…

View original post 2,484 more words

mid-week apologetics booster (3-19-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1500) from Nuggets:

David could not put his finger upon any entry in his diary, and say of it, “Here is evidence that the Lord will forsake me,” for the entire tenor of his past life proved the very reverse. He should have argued from what God had done for him, that God would be his defender still. But is it not just in the same way that we doubt God’s help? Is it not mistrust without a cause? Have we ever had the shadow of a reason to doubt our Father’s goodness?  – Charles Spurgeon

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. My thoughts on the coronavirus: https://1peter41216.wordpress.com/2020/03/18/my-thoughts-on-coronavirus/
  2. Is it time to run and hide? Should you cut yourself off from other people because of the coronavirus? https://subsplash.com/crossexamined/lb/mi/+stcbbhc
  3. Why Did God Make Viruses? | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/biology/microbiology/why-did-god-make-viruses/
  4. What does the Bible say about pandemic diseases/sicknesses? | GotQuestions.org: https://www.gotquestions.org/pandemic-diseases.html
  5. C. S. Lewis on the Coronavirus: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/cs-lewis-coronavirus/
  6. The way of the master episode with focus on evolution: https://youtu.be/TwaPidXWyAM
  7. God and Math – How God is the Ultimate Foundation for Mathematics | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/creation-science/taking-god-out-of-the-equation/
  8. Presuppositional Procedure (Greg Bahnsen) – Here then is how the presuppositional (transcendental) method of defending the faith would proceed once the preliminary discussions and clarifications have taken place with the unbeliever-and the two outlooks now come head to head | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/apologetics/presuppositional-procedure/
  9. Out of Africa theory problems are growing – The favoured story of evolution is now struggling: https://creation.com/out-of-africa-theory-wrong
  10. The Story of St. Patrick – Learn about Patrick the man. Not the man of legend, who supposedly drove the snakes out of Ireland, but about the man of indomitable faith in Jesus Christ.: https://www.breakpoint.org/the-story-of-st-patrick/
  11. Getting Faith Right. Are faith and reason at odds? Is belief in Christianity a blind leap in the dark? In this weeks podcast, Tim explores the relationship between faith and reason, and shows how biblical faith is the exact opposite of so-called blind faith.: https://www.str.org/podcasts/clear-thinking-christianity/getting-faith-right#.XnAPZ1NlAzR
  12. Faith & Wishing – What makes the Christian’s faith any different from the Mormon’s wishing, or the Hindu’s wishing, or even the wishing of an atheist?: https://www.str.org/articles/faith-wishing#.XnBBoFNlAzR
  13. Apologetics for Children – How can we help our children understand evidence for the Christian faith?: https://crossexamined.org/apologetics-for-children/
  14. Talking with Your Kids about God – Christian parenting is hard work–and it’s getting harder. Parents have a deep desire to pass on their faith but fear that today’s increasingly skeptical and hostile world will eventually lead their kids to reject the truth of Christianity. That leaves many parents feeling overwhelmed–uncertain of what they can do to help their children, given the difficulty and extent of the faith challenges they will face. Frank interviews author Natasha Crain about her new book a practical and timely resource that gives parents the confidence of knowing what to discuss with their children and how to discuss it in order to facilitate impactful conversations that will form the basis of a lifelong faith.: https://subsplash.com/crossexamined/lb/mi/+jh8bkv7
  15. A, B. C’s of the Gospel – Michael Licona: https://youtu.be/7Zc4Ye9GIVY4789307

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. – Psalms 55:22

Blessings to you all

My Thoughts on Coronavirus

Now, as we are fully in the midst of this national panic, I sit here contemplating how our national response to this pandemic will have lasting effects on our country, and even the world.  Here is the current state of the situation for the world as of this morning:

Then for the U.S.:

First off, let me say, that as a born again, Bible believing, committed follower of Jesus Christ, I have no worries for myself should I be infected by the new SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 that it causes.  I, like Paul, am of the conviction that “for me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).  So, I am not afraid of the virus and I am not worried about myself.  If you’re interesting in exploring what the Bible says about pandemic diseases, check out this article.

That being said, I certainly do wonder whether the “medicine” our country is taking is worse than the disease.  We are essentially shutting down our economy for the foreseeable future – the most vibrant economy in the world.  We’re doing this in the hopes that we can “flatten the curve”:

We are concerned, understandably, about those among us who are elderly, who have pre-existing medical issues or compromised immune systems.  We are told that those of us who are healthy adults need to do our part to not be carriers and transmitters of the virus.  We are told, it is not about us, this is about putting others first.

Well, I have a few questions:

    1. If we truly are concerned about the elderly or sick – the small percentage of the population for whom this virus is a serious life threat – why are we not focusing on isolating them from coming in contact with the virus? Here are the stats for age ranges:

      So, isolating the disproportionally affected age ranges certainly seems to be a better strategy than trying to isolate over 90% of the population of our country to prevent them from being carriers/transmitters, thus destroying the economy while doing so.
    2. Our country went through the H1N1 pandemic 11 years ago. I don’t remember anywhere near this level of panic – I don’t remember shutting everything down all sporting events, other large events, closing schools or even the stock market tanking. There was none of this general panic we’re seeing now.  Why are we panicking about COVID-19?  Here are the statistics in the U.S. from that crisis:
        1. 60.8 million people infected
        2. 12,469 deaths
        3. Emerged April 2009 – the Obama administration declared a National Emergency 6 months later and after 1,000 people had died from it! (October 2009)
    3. There are many health threats, which, though very serious, we don’t shut down our economy over. So why are we choosing to shut down our economy over this threat?  Here are some stats about some of these health threats:
      1. Influenza (the “flu”). Here are the U.S. stats for the flu from the 2017-2018 flu season from the CDC.  Note – over 61,000 people died that year:
      2. Traffic deaths – there were 38,800 traffic fatalities in the United States in 2019, the National Safety Council estimates. That represents an average of over one hundred traffic deaths every day. We’re nowhere near these kind of numbers with COVID-19…
      3. Deaths by Disease: – notice where COVID-19 sits on this list (data is from March 9th):

All of this to say that our response to other existing health threats pales in comparison to the draconian measures we are taking to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  I think we will look back on this, after 1 – 2 quarters of recession (and possibly more), and realize that we over-reacted.  These measures will have a negative effect on many in the lower economic strata.  It will also affect those who are in retirement or nearing retirement as they watch their retirement savings from this record breaking, booming economy dwindle away.

The thing is, we’ll never know whether we over-reacted – only God will know what would’ve happened if we’d treated this like other pandemics of the past.  I certainly hope and pray that we are taking the correct actions.  I pray that God would guide our leaders, that the herd mentality and hoarding would stop and that scared people would seek the Lord with their fears.  The LORD’s words to Solomon are instructive for us here and now:

2 Chronicles 7:13-14

When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

 

Defense of Paul Washer and other preachers from an Apologist point of view

I have a friend with whom I discuss Apologetics as well as many other general Christian topics.  We were talking about Paul Washer during one of our discussions and afterward, he went on YouTube looking for a random Paul Washer video and watched it.  He sent me an email with his critique – here are some excerpts and quotes:

“it seemed like a lot of logical fallacies or preacher tactics.”

accusation:  do you know the attributes of God?    Are you learning the important things?
straw man:  we see the church as Six Flags over Jesus
Bifurcation:  Revival or Judgement
scare tactic:  I have great fear for you.
Generalization:  based not on scripture but on culture
irrelevant thesis: most of what I will say is scandalous
straw man:   God – you will not be able to avoid Him – no matter how hard you try
straw man:  God looks like Santa Claus today
” :  we so little knowledge of Scripture
Bifurcation:   God he is everything or He is nothing

Here was my response:

Regarding Paul Washer – he is definitely not an apologist, he’s a preacher.  Paul Washer’s main goal seems to be to get individuals to consider whether they are really saved, based on the way they’re living.

He uses hyperbole for sure (e.g. the “Six Flags over Jesus” comment), but Jesus did as well – I’m not sure we can label that as a straw man.  In fact Jesus used many of those tactics, for example:

  1. Hyperbole (straw man) – I don’t think Jesus really meant that we were to cut off our hands/feet or gouge out our eyes: Matt. 18:8-9 If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.  And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
  2. Scare Tactics – Jesus used scare tactics many times.  Like when talking to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:33 – You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Or Luke 12:5 – But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
  3. Bifurcation – I don’t think we could accuse Jesus of bifurcation in Matt. 12:30 – He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters or His brother – James 4:4 – You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
  4. Accusation – I don’t think we can accuse Jesus of illegitimate accusation during His conversation with Nicodemus: John 3:10-12 – “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?  I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?“.

I could go on…  But I give these responses to show that Paul Washer is using tactics that, on their face, may seem like fallacies or preacher tactics, but we can find many preachers, prophets, apostles and Jesus Himself in the Bible using these same “tactics”.

If we’re honest, I’m sure most preachers commit logical fallacies.  We could probably find logic errors in many of our favorite preachers (unfortunately) – even R.C. Sproul or John MacArthur.  However, I tolerate it because that’s not what I listen to them for.  I listen to them for better understanding/insights about the biblical text and for exhortation and bringing conviction of my heart (which Paul Washer, Steven J. Lawson and others do very well).  But they give good analogies and good stories that get right to the main point and make it clear.  Here is one of my favorite Paul Washer sermons, at the very end (59:26) he gives a pretty good analogy:

 

mid-week apologetics booster (3-12-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1500) from Nuggets:

If the whole world was against me and God alone was for me, I would have nothing whatsoever to fear. But if the whole world was for me and God Himself was against me, I would be in terror. – Dr. Michael L. Brown

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Help! My Teen Is Losing His Faith! | Beyond Teachable Moments: https://beyondtm.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/help-my-teen-is-losing-his-faith/
  2. The Religious ‘Nones’ and the Curious Case of Millennials: https://blog.faithstreet.com/the-religious-nones-and-the-curious-case-of/
  3. Tips for Sharing Your Faith: #3 Give them enough rope | Come Reason’s Apologetics Notes: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2014/11/tips-for-sharing-your-faith-3-give-them.html
  4. Starting God-Conversations: Take the ‘Class-Photo’ Approach: http://apologetics-notes.comereason.org/2016/11/starting-god-conversations-take-class.html
  5. Evidence of Design in the Biological Realm 1 Peter 4:12-16: https://1peter41216.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/evidence-of-design-in-the-biological-realm/
  6. 10 Arguments for the Existence of God: https://plainsimplefaith.com/10-arguments-for-the-existence-of-god/
  7. Renewing Your Mind | Faulty Logic and Sense Perception | Nov 14, 2014: https://renewingyourmind.org/2014/11/14/faulty-logic-and-sense-perception
  8. What Is the Role of Apologetics In Evangelism? – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7umMcyW1R2I
  9. Challenge Response: We Don’t Have Those Originals: https://str.typepad.com/weblog/2015/07/challenge-response-we-dont-have-those-original-inerrant-manuscripts.html
  10. [J Warner Wallace] Getting to the Original Message through Multiple Copies with Errors – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNfp6M8kMDc
  11. A Defense of the Historicity of Jesus’ Divine Self-Understanding – Christian Apologetics Alliance: http://christianapologeticsalliance.com/2012/08/23/a-defense-of-the-historicit/
  12. Jumping Over the Evangelism Wall | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/jumping-over-the-evangelism-wall/
  13. The S.L.E.D. Test | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/w/the-s-l-e-d-test?inheritRedirect=true
  14. The Short Road to Irrelevance | Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/christianity/church/the-short-road-to-irrelevance/
  15. America: A Christian or a Secularist Nation? – Wall Builders: https://wallbuilders.com/america-christian-secularist-nation/
  16. Contend for the Faith | Reformed Bible Studies & Devotionals at Ligonier.org: https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/contend-faith/
  17. Why Do So Many Christians Dismiss Apologetics? | Sean McDowell: https://seanmcdowell.org/blog/why-do-so-many-christians-dismiss-apologetics
  18. Should Apologists Quote the Bible When Trying to Prove it? – Josh.org: https://www.josh.org/apologists-quote-bible/
  19. Why Socialism is Not Biblical: A Pastor’s View | The Stream: https://stream.org/why-socialism-is-not-biblical-idleman/
  20. Ben Affleck opens up about becoming a Christian later in life, finds beauty in Jesus’ message – The Christian Post: https://www.christianpost.com/news/ben-affleck-opens-up-about-becoming-a-christian-later-in-life-finds-beauty-in-jesus-message-235551/
  21. How Should I Parent My Non-Christian Teen? | Desiring God: https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/how-should-i-parent-my-non-christian-teen
  22. New Report Examines Scientific Studies on Sexuality and Gender | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/new-report-examines-scientific-studies-on-sexuality-and-gender
  23. Do I need to be an apologist?: https://creation.com/apologist

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.  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Romans 8:28-30

Blessings to you all

Luke 18:9-14 – The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

The following presentation is a message I plan to deliver to our youth group (middle school and high school) today at 10:30.  I pray that it would go well, and God would use this to impact them for their eternal benefit.

———————————————————————————

Today we’re going to be looking at one of the most well-known parables of Jesus – the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector.  The title of the message is “Are you justified?” Open your Bibles to Luke chapter 18 and let’s read it:

First, I want you to notice who Jesus told the parable to: “some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else”.

What an indictment this description is!  This attitude is not the attitude of a Christian before a Holy God.

Based on what we know about Jesus’s interaction with the Pharisees, this passage may have been directed at them (as well as anyone else who would be confident in their own righteousness).

 

 

The Pharisees were the religious leaders in Jesus’ day.  They were trying to adhere to, not only the 613 commandments given to the Israelites in the Mosaic Law, but thousands of additional rules, regulations and traditions in “the Mishna”.

(The Mishna is an ongoing compilation of sermons and sayings by Jewish rabbis meant to interpret the original Mosaic Law. The original intent of these additions was to clarify the law, but it ended up adding many layers of complicated regulations.)

 

The Apostle Paul himself was trained as a Pharisee (by Gamaliel Acts 22:3; Phil. 3:6).  But, after his conversion to Christ, he viewed his former life as worthless – saying:

So, we as Christians should never be “confident in” our own righteousness…

Because of their zeal for the law, the general population would’ve considered the Pharisees to be about as righteous as one could be.  Jesus even referenced this during the Sermon on the Mount when He told the people:

Even though Jesus knew that the people regarded the Pharisees as righteous and holy, He also knew that they placed a heavy burden on the people because of their legalism.  When he delivered His great rebuke of the Pharisees in Matthew 23, He opens the chapter by describing them:

(phylacteries consisted of a black box, which contained a parchment with four passages from the Old Testament: Exodus 13:1-10, Exodus 13:11-16, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, and Deuteronomy 11:13-21.

The Jewish men also wore an outer garment that had tassels on the four corners. This was a command by God through Moses in Numbers 15:37-41 and Deuteronomy 22:12. This garment became a prayer shawl and covered the head during prayer.)

Jesus went on in that chapter to call them out on their hypocrisy:

Matthew 23:27-28, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness”.

Let’s watch a little video clip depicting this scene:

 

Wow!  That was from a movie called “Jesus of Nazareth” from the 1970’s.

Jesus was not “Barney”!

This was only one incident – Jesus had many other challenging and direct interactions with the Pharisees.

So, with this knowledge of the Pharisees, let’s now learn a little about the other character in the parable – the Tax Collectors.

The Tax Collectors were widely regarded as great sinners in Jesus’ day.

Here are 4 reasons why the tax collectors had such a bad reputation.  First, no one likes to pay money to the government, especially when the government is an oppressive regime like the Roman Empire of the 1st century. Those who collected the taxes for such a government bore the brunt of much public displeasure.

Second, the tax collectors in the Bible were Jews who were working for the hated Romans. These individuals were seen as traitors to their own countrymen. Rather than fighting the Roman oppressors, the tax collectors were helping them.

Third, it was common knowledge that the tax collectors cheated the people they collected from. They would collect more than required and keep the extra for themselves. The tax collector Zacchaeus, in his confession to the Lord, mentioned his past dishonesty (Luke 19:8).

Fourth, the tax collectors were often rich. Many resented supporting the tax collectors’ lavish lifestyle. The tax collectors were ostracized from society and formed their own clique, further separating themselves from the rest of society.

So, in the parable, the Pharisee and the Tax Collector go up to the Temple to pray.  The Pharisee starts first.  According to the text he stands up and prays “about himself”.  Well that’s an accurate statement – in 2 short verses, he uses the word “I” 4 times!

His “prayer” hardly deserves to be called a prayer.  He starts off addressing God, but after that, all we hear about is:

  1. His morality
  2. His religiosity
  3. How the Tax Collector was just the opposite.

His Morality

He talks about how he’s morally superior to other men – he’s not

  1. a robber,
  2. an evil doer or
  3. an adulterer

His Religiosity

How he performs “religious acts”:

  1. fasts twice a week
  2. gives a tithe (1/10 of his income)

It’s almost as if the Pharisee is explaining to God how good and worthy he is and how lucky God is to have him on His team!

It reminds me of a quote from a video interview of Michael Bloomberg on April 21st, 2017, where he says this:

This is a stunningly arrogant statement…  Anyone with an attitude like that – thinking that they deserve heaven – is going to be very surprised when they are standing before a Holy God on judgement day (if their attitude doesn’t change).

Contrast the prayer of the Pharisee with the Tax Collector.  Even his posture before God in prayer is different.  The text says “he stood at a distance and would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast…”

The Tax Collector’s prayer is very simple and “to the point” – “God have mercy on me, a sinner”.

The prayer contains a straight forward admission of his own guilt and a request to God for mercy.

There’s none of this in the Pharisee’s prayer.  The Pharisee doesn’t:

  1. Acknowledge his sins
  2. Ask for forgiveness
  3. Ask for mercy

It is not even clear that the Pharisee realizes his need for forgiveness and mercy!  Rather, it sounds like he is promoting himself and touting his achievements.  Yes, he does give thanks to God, but it is thanks for his AMAZING self!

The Jews during Jesus’ time, went up to the Temple once or twice a day to worship – 9AM and 3PM (Acts 3:1).  At those times also, there was the offering of the morning sacrifice and the evening sacrifice (Exodus 29:38-42; Numbers 28:1-8) which came to be called the Tamid Sacrifice.

All of those offerings pointed to Christ Jesus – who made a sacrifice once for all (Hebrews 7:27, 9:22-28, 10:5-14; 1 Peter 3:18).  Every sacrifice that died on a Jewish altar pointed to the Lamb of God (John 1:29).

So, these men went up to the Temple at the very time the sacrifice was being offered.  And there’s the Pharisee – he has no regard for the blood sacrifice.  He has no regard for “substitution” – he has no regard for Divine satisfaction of God’s justice.

All he’s interested in is for God to pay attention to who he is and all of his worthiness, greatness and righteousness!  It’s like he’s saying, “On the basis of all that I am – bless me!”

But the Tax Collector sees that same offering being offered to God – he sees the blood and he beats his breast and says “God, have mercy upon me, a sinner”.

I want to explain some detail here so that you know the significance of that word “mercy” in what the Tax Collector said.  It will make you see why sometimes you can get more insight if you look into the original language of the Bible.

Our English word “mercy” is used 54 times in the New Testament.  But it is not always translated from the same word in the original Greek language.  For example, in the 18th chapter of Luke, “mercy” is used 3 times – once in verse 13 in our passage and also in verses 38 and 39 where a blind man calls out “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

But the root word in the Greek in v38 Eleeo (el-eh-eh’-o) means to have pity or compassion on someone – to help “the afflicted”, which the blind man was.

However, in verse 13, when the Tax Collector says “God, have mercy upon me, a sinner”, it’s a different Greek word:  Hilaskomai (hil-as’-kom-ahee) which means to become “propitious”.

 

This is the verb form of the word “propitiation” (Hilasterion), which some of you may’ve heard of.

It is the word which is used when talking of Jesus’ atoning death for our sins.  I will read one small passage where propitiation is used – you will certainly have heard at least the beginning of this, from Romans 3 (NASB):

Let me read that in another translation (NIV):

And yet another (NLT):

So, in effect the Tax Collector was asking God, “Let your rightful anger with me be satisfied on the basis of the blood shed upon the altar!” – and that’s the Gospel!  It was like he was saying “Jesus died for my sins”.

Even our weeping and our repentance and our faith – that’s not going to satisfy God’s justice.  “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20) – God demands death for sins!  “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23a) – The Savior and His death – that’s what satisfied God’s justice!

The Tax Collector’s prayer reminds me of that old hymn of the faith Rock of Ages:

Now let’s look at Jesus’s assessment of the 2 prayers…

Jesus says “I tell you that this man (the Tax Collector), rather than the other (the Pharisee), went home justified before God.”

It would’ve been stunning to people to hear that this rotten, sinful Tax Collector was justified with God, but the Pharisee, as righteous as he appeared, was not justified before God.

What does it mean to be “justified” before God?  It means that Christ’s righteousness is credited to us and that our guilt is credited to Jesus on the cross.

I’ve heard it said that justified means “Just as if I’d never sinned

The Bible says that God “has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” (Psalm 103:12)

And if you are justified before God, you are “saved” and will go to heaven one day.  So, I ask you – are you justified?

The Bible says that most people will proclaim their own goodness (Proverbs 20:6).

You can go to the person on the street, start a conversation and ask, “Are you going to go to heaven when you die? And if so, why?”  The answer will most likely be, “Yes, because I’m a good person.”   Then if you follow up to ask why they think they’re good enough to go to heaven, the answer will likely be, “I don’t kill, hurt or steal, I’m kind, I help others when I can.”  The average person thinks that “good people” go to heaven and “bad people” go to hell.  The problem is that they don’t understand what God’s standard is.  How good would you have to be to make it?

In Matthew 5:48, Jesus told us what God’s standard is:

That’s the standard – perfection – That is an impossible standard!  But thank God for the Gospel – that we can be “freely justified by grace”, through faith in Jesus Christ.  Ephesians 2:8-9 says:

A famous Pastor, Greg Laurie commented that:

So, I hope you can answer the question “are you justified?” in the affirmative and say the words of Romans 5:9

 

 

mid-week apologetics booster (3-5-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1500) from Nuggets:

Instead of ‘Walking in the Spirit’, many Christians are sleepwalking. It’s time to wake up! Jesus is coming! – Greg Laurie

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Is the Bible True? The Cumulative Case for the Reliability of the Gospels (Free Bible Insert) | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/is-the-bible-true-the-cumulative-case-for-the-reliability-of-the-gospels-free-bible-insert/
  2. Top three reasons people reject Christianity – The Christian Post: https://www.christianpost.com/voices/top-three-reasons-people-reject-christianity.html
  3. The Problem of the Unevangelized Once More | Reasonable Faith: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/the-problem-of-the-unevangelized-once-more/
  4. Testing the Gospels From John to Hippolytus – “The Chain of Custody” | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/testing-the-gospels-from-john-to-hippolytus/
  5. 10 FREE Bible Study Tools Bible.org Blogs: https://blogs.bible.org/10-free-bible-study-tools/
  6. Leading Youth to Spiritual Maturity and a Strong Biblical Faith: https://stevenkozak.com/2020/03/02/leading-youth-to-spiritual-maturity-and-a-strong-biblical-faith/
  7. Secular Scientists Admit Dinosaurs Appeared Abruptly | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/dinosaurs-appeared-abruptly
  8. Praying Mantis has 3-D sight (vision) – this confounds evolution | The Institute for Creation Research: https://www.icr.org/article/10511
  9. Stephen C. Meyer and Marcus Ross lecture on the Cambrian explosion | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2020/03/01/stephen-c-meyer-and-marcus-ross-lecture-on-the-cambrian-explosion-5/
  10. Greg Koukl Stand To Reason podcast – there are a number of topics talked about, but I want to direct your attention to a caller that starts 44 minutes into the podcast and asks a question about the mind/soul vs. the brain. I think Greg gives a good answer to the caller: https://subspla.sh/wpdn8xd
  11. An Acronym for Apologetics The Real Issue Apologetics Ministry: https://roblundbergapologetics.com/2020/03/02/an-acronym-for-apologetics/
  12. A Brief Defense of the Pro-Life Position: http://truthbomb.blogspot.com/2020/03/a-brief-defense-of-pro-life-position.html?m=1
  13. What Does Christianity Say About the Nature of Humans? Five Honest Realities | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/what-does-christianity-say-about-the-nature-of-humans/
  14. Debating Skeptics (1 of 5): https://pleaseconvinceme.blogspot.com/2016/12/debating-skeptics-1-of-5.html
  15. Pro-Lifers’ Social Media Bans Are Too Numerous To Not Be Censorship: https://thefederalist.com/2020/03/02/pro-lifers-social-media-bans-are-too-numerous-to-not-be-censorship/
  16. Cincinnati church wipes out $46.5 million in medical debt for 45,000 families | Fox News: https://www.foxnews.com/us/cincinnati-church-wipes-out-46-5-million-in-medical-debt-largest-amount-for-nonprofit
  17. Evolutionist Admits Darwin’s Connection to Racism | CEH: https://crev.info/2020/02/evolutionist-admits-darwins-connection-to-racism/
  18. ‘Sometimes I Just Want to Scream So that Other Parents Understand’ – She was 12 when a school counselor told Rob’s daughter she was transgender. They picked out a new name and started treating her like a boy at school — without ever calling home.: https://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=WA20B42&f=WU20B06
  19. New Jersey Public Schools To Teach LGBT Ideology In Every Subject: https://thefederalist.com/2020/02/27/new-jersey-public-schools-to-teach-lgbt-ideology-in-every-subject/
  20. Pence Doesn’t Believe in Science?: https://townhall.com/columnists/jerrynewcombe/2020/03/04/pence-doesnt-believe-in-science-n2563207

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Philippians 1:21-24

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (2-27-2020)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1500) from Nuggets:

If you are placed in a situation where you suspect your convictions will be labeled intolerant, bigoted, narrow-minded, or judgmental, use Columbo to turn the tables. When someone asks for your personal views about a controversial issue, preface your remarks with a question that sets the stage — in your favor — for your response. Say, “You know, this is actually a very personal question you’re asking. I don’t mind answering, but before I do, I want to know if it’s safe to offer my views. So let me ask you a question: Do you consider yourself a tolerant person or an intolerant person on issues like this? Is it safe to give my opinion, or are you going to judge me for my point of view? Do you respect diverse points of view, or do you condemn others for convictions that differ from your own?” Now when you give your point of view, it’s going to be very difficult for anyone to call you intolerant or judgmental without looking guilty, too. This line of questioning trades on an important bit of knowledge: There is no neutral ground when it comes to the tolerance question. Everybody has a point of view she thinks is right, and everybody passes judgment at some point or another. The Christian gets pigeonholed as the judgmental one, but everyone else is judging, too, even people who consider themselves relativists. I call this the passive-aggressive tolerance trick. The key to understanding this trick is knowing that everyone thinks his own beliefs are correct. If people didn’t think their beliefs were true, they wouldn’t believe them. They’d believe something else and think that was true.

 – Greg Koukl (Tactics)

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Why Young People Leave the Church: http://colsoncenter.libsyn.com/why-young-people-leave-the-church
  2. Ten Biblical Truths About Life Beyond the Grave: https://oncedelivered.net/2020/01/07/ten-biblical-truths-about-life-beyond-the-grave/
  3. Justin Bieber Said He’s Obeying Jesus Now! | Living Waters: https://www.livingwaters.com/justin-bieber-said-hes-obeying-jesus-now/
  4. Five Questions Every Student Needs You to Answer – Growing Leaders: https://growingleaders.com/blog/five-questions-every-student-needs-you-to-answer/
  5. Talking to Jehovah’s Witnesses? Start Here | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/talking-jehovahs-witnesses-start-here
  6. William Lane Craig debates Walter Sinnott-Armstrong: evil, suffering and God | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2020/02/20/william-lane-craig-debates-walter-sinnott-armstrong-evil-suffering-and-god-6/
  7. Hermeneutical Series: STOP Using Matthew 7:1 Out of Context! The Real Issue Apologetics Ministry: https://roblundbergapologetics.com/2020/02/22/hermeneutical-series-stop-using-matthew-71-out-of-context/
  8. Three Spiritual Journeys of Millennials: https://www.barna.com/research/three-spiritual-journeys-of-millennials/
  9. Fighting The Porn Industry Must Begin Within The Church: https://howtoreligion.wordpress.com/2017/06/18/fighting-the-porn-industry-must-begin-within-the-church-2/
  10. Facts Are Not Enough – A Clear Lens: https://clearlens.org/facts-are-not-enough/
  11. The Amazing Unity of Scripture : Christian Courier: https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1605-amazing-unity-of-scripture-the
  12. If Human Eugenics Wouldn’t Work, Human Evolution Has a Big Problem | Evolution News: https://evolutionnews.org/2020/02/if-human-eugenics-wouldnt-work-human-evolution-has-a-big-problem/
  13. Psychologist affirms creation (Nathan Marinau): https://creation.com/nathan-marinau-interview
  14. John MacArthur Warned Moody Years Ago About James MacDonald, Emails Reveal | Julie Roys: https://julieroys.com/john-macarthur-warned-moody-years-ago-about-james-macdonald-emails-reveal/
  15. UK NHS government-run healthcare only available for people who agree with the government | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2020/02/19/uk-nhs-government-run-healthcare-only-available-for-people-who-agree-with-the-government/
  16. Ray Comfort shares his views about Bernie Sanders : https://youtu.be/EgyTfXJuMEY
  17. California Pastor Says Trump’s Border Wall is Biblical | Todd Starnes: https://www.toddstarnes.com/politics/california-pastor-says-trumps-border-wall-is-biblical/

For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10

Blessings to you all

mid-week apologetics booster (2-20-20)

Good morning friends,

Here is a random quote (of over 1500) from Nuggets:

It is not feeling the Spirit that proves my saved state but the truth of what Christ did perfectly for me. – Valley of Vision

To view more of these quotes, visit:

http://www.ps11911.com/nuggets?dest=quotes

Now, here are your weekly links:

  1. Five Ways to Help Your Kids Grow in Their Christian Confidence | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/five-ways-to-help-your-kids-grow-in-their-christian-confidence/
  2. Three Ways to Ignite Your Teenager’s Passion for God | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/three-ways-to-ignite-your-teenagers-passion-for-god/
  3. Politics Will Not Save Us | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/blog/politics-will-not-save-us
  4. Cosmologist Luke Barnes answers 11 objections to the fine-tuning argument | WINTERY KNIGHT: https://winteryknight.com/2020/02/12/cosmologist-luke-barnes-answers-11-objections-to-the-fine-tuning-argument-9/
  5. The Founders As Christians, their quotes – Wall Builders: https://wallbuilders.com/the-founders-as-christians/
  6. David Wood And Bobby: If Bart Ehrman Is Right, Islam Is False. – One Minute Apologist: https://oneminuteapologist.com/david-wood-and-bobby-if-bart-ehrman-is-right-islam-is-false/
  7. Five atheist miracles (Creation Magazine LIVE! 7-20) – YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzlz8OFBSVc
  8. A review of The Myth of Junk DNA by Jonathan Wells – creation.com: https://creation.com/review-wells-junk-dna
  9. The Three Kinds of Doubt and How to Address Them (Brett Kunkle hosts the Stand to Reason podcast): https://subspla.sh/52qfhwr
  10. Lord of the Rings Star Defends Faith, Argues That Christianity Has ‘Made the World a Better Place’ | CBN News: https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/entertainment/2020/february/lord-of-the-rings-star-defends-faith-argues-that-christianity-has-made-the-world-a-better-place
  11. Way of the Master episode in Switzerland – this episode contains a lot of Apologetics conversations (~30 minute video): https://youtu.be/_id_l_0BQy0
  12. Why did Jesus Say the Father is Greater than I in John 14:28? | Berean Perspective Apologetics & Evangelism Ministry: https://rootedinchrist.org/2019/12/28/why-did-jesus-say-the-father-is-greater-than-i-in-john-1428/
  13. Push To Legalize Polygamy Uses Same Arguments As Same-Sex Marriage: https://thefederalist.com/2020/02/17/push-to-legalize-polygamy-uses-same-arguments-as-same-sex-marriage/
  14. Rhett & Link, YouTubers Popular With Youth, Deconstruct Their Faith: https://churchleaders.com/youth/youth-leaders-articles/371115-rhett-link-youtubers-ear-biscuits-popular-with-youth-deconstruct-their-faith.html
  15. Does Oxytocin Cause Spiritual Experiences?: https://reasons.org/explore/blogs/the-cells-design/read/the-cells-design/2016/10/12/does-oxytocin-cause-spiritual-experiences
  16. Deity of Christ: Case Closed – this article contains a good strategy for discussing the deity of Christ with Jehovah’s Witnesses | Stand to Reason: https://www.str.org/publications/deity-of-christ-case-closed
  17. Interview: John Dyer From the Garden to the City – (Brett Kunkle hosts the Stand to Reason podcast, where they discuss the results of Christian use of various forms of technology): https://subspla.sh/yvzrjk7
  18. Free PDF Apologetics Dissertation: How Language, Beauty, and Literature Point Toward the Existence of God The Domain for Truth: https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2019/12/28/free-pdf-apologetics-dissertation-how-language-beauty-and-literature-point-toward-the-existence-of-god/
  19. Does the Cumulative Case for Design Point to a Divine Designer? | Cold Case Christianity: https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/does-the-cumulative-case-for-design-point-to-a-divine-designer/
  20. Family Ministry: Who Is Responsible for the Discipleship of Your Children? – Timothy Paul Jones: https://www.timothypauljones.com/family-ministry-who-is-responsible-for-discipling-your-children/
  21. The New Age Jesus Versus the Biblical Jesus – CultureWatch: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2019/12/31/the-new-age-jesus-versus-the-biblical-jesus/
  22. Atheists and Evidence 2020. Some things never change. Shadow To Light: https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com/2019/12/30/atheists-and-evidence-2020-some-things-never-change

For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.John 12:49-50

Blessings to you all

Teaching on Psalms 71 and 72 Given to Men’s Group on January 28th

Psalm 71 & 72

Psalms 71

1 In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge; Let me never be ashamed. 2 In Your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; Incline Your ear to me and save me. 3 Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come; You have given commandment to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress.

4 Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the grasp of the wrongdoer and ruthless man, 5 For You are my hope; O Lord GOD, You are my confidence from my youth. 6 By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb; My praise is continually of You.

7 I have become a marvel to many, For You are my strong refuge. 8 My mouth is filled with Your praise And with Your glory all day long. 9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age; Do not forsake me when my strength fails.

10 For my enemies have spoken against me; And those who watch for my life have consulted together, 11 Saying, “God has forsaken him; Pursue and seize him, for there is no one to deliver.” 12 O God, do not be far from me; O my God, hasten to my help!

13 Let those who are adversaries of my soul be ashamed and consumed; Let them be covered with reproach and dishonor, who seek to injure me. 14 But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. 15 My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness And of Your salvation all day long; For I do not know the sum of them.

16 I will come with the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your righteousness, Yours alone. 17 O God, You have taught me from my youth, And I still declare Your wondrous deeds. 18 And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.

19 For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You? 20 You who have shown me many troubles and distresses Will revive me again, And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth. 21 May You increase my greatness And turn to comfort me.

22 I will also praise You with a harp, Even Your truth, O my God; To You I will sing praises with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. 23 My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You; And my soul, which You have redeemed. 24 My tongue also will utter Your righteousness all day long; For they are ashamed, for they are humiliated who seek my hurt. (NASB)

Themes that I found occurring in this Psalm:

Taking shelter & refuge in God (v1,7)

Quote from Derek W. H. Thomas when telling about a 90 year old godly man in his church loves the Lord and quietly serves in the church:

“…here is a man that takes refuge in God, rather than drawing attention to his troubles…”

Asking for God’s rescue/salvation and to not be forsaken (v1,2,4,18)

David gives us a great example as in many Psalms that when trouble, calamity, persecution hits, we need to call out to the LORD – not as a last resort, but first.

Psalms 55:22

Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.

Here is a Charles Spurgeon quote about David carrying his sorrow to God:

It was to God that David carried his sorrow: it was to God that David confessed his sin. Observe, then, we must take our sorrows to God. Even your little sorrows you may roll upon God, for he counteth the hairs of your head.  – Charles Spurgeon

Praising God (v6,14,23) – including the use of musical instruments (v22 harp/lyre). Joyful worship (v23)

God is worthy of praise:

Psalms 149:2-3

Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King.  Let them praise His name with dancing and make music to Him with tambourine and harp.

 

1 Chronicles 29:10-13

David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, and “Praise be to you, O LORD, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.  Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.  Wealth and honor come from You; You are the ruler of all things. In Your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.  Now, our God, we give You thanks, and praise Your glorious name.”

Habakkuk 3:17-18

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Revelation 4:11

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.”

Meditating on God’s Attributes

It is a good thing to meditate on the attributes of God, as David does.  Here are some of the attributes of God that David describes in this Psalm:

Righteousness (v15,19,24)

19 For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You?

Faithfulness (v6,17)

17 O God, You have taught me from my youth, And I still declare Your wondrous deeds.

Strength (v16-18)

18 And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.

Uniqueness (v19b)

19b O God, who is like You?

Comforting (v21)

21 May You increase my greatness And turn to comfort me.

Sovereignty (v6,17,20)

6 By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb; My praise is continually of You.

Holiness (v22)

22 I will also praise You with a harp, Even Your truth, O my God; To You I will sing praises with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.

God allowing trouble in David’s life (v20)

20 You who have shown me many troubles and distresses Will revive me again, And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth.

Yes, the life of the believer can be filled with trouble.  But David has the right attitude about his troubles – he sees them as coming from the hand of the LORD and that the LORD will ultimately “revive him”.  Therefore, it is reasonable that, we as believers will experience trouble.  Charles Spurgeon says of David in 2 Samuel 15:23 – weeping as he was fleeing Absalom, passing through the Kidron Valley:

“David passed that gloomy brook  …. The man after God’s own heart was not exempt from trouble, nay, his life was full of it. He was both the Lord’s Anointed, and the Lord’s Afflicted. Why then should we expect to escape?”

David’s persecution by his enemies (v4,13,24)

This is a common theme in the Psalms.  We see David on the run from his enemies and calling out to God for deliverance.

Imprecatory prayers (v13,24)

Again, another common theme in the Psalms where David is imploring God to deal with his enemies.

Evangelism/witnessing – telling about God (v15,18,24)

15 My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness And of Your salvation all day long; For I do not know the sum of them.

Q: Are you telling anyone about God and His salvation?  How?  (this is a time of encouragement for us)

Growing old (v9,18)

Growing old is a significant theme of this Psalm.  It is mentioned 2 times explicitly.  In fact, the title of the Psalm is “Prayer of an Old Man for Deliverance”.  Again, I would like to emphasize that great quote by Derek Thomas:

“…here is a man that takes refuge in God, rather than drawing attention to his troubles…”

The title of that sermon was “Graying with Glory”. Look at the contrast he presents: refuge in God vs. drawing attention to our troubles.  I’m sure each of us here has many other troubles that we don’t communicate to others.  And the Bible says that we are to bear one another’s burdens:

Gal 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Q: What is the appropriate balance between telling others about your problems and of keeping them between you and the Lord?  Where does one cross over the line and start grumbling and complaining?

Resurrection (v20 revive me again / bring me up from the depths of the earth)?

20 You who have shown me many troubles and distresses Will revive me again, And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth.

This verse makes me think of the resurrection of the dead.  Although, looking at commentary, it is not meant to be literal resurrection from the dead:

“Not actual resurrection, but rescue from near death conditions and renewal of life’s strength and meaning” – MacArthur Study Bible commentary on Psalm 71:20.

Personal redemption (v23 my soul, which You have redeemed)

David acknowledges that God has redeemed not just his body and his earthly life, but indeed his soul, which is much more important.

 

 

Psalms 72 – “The Reign of the Righteous King”  A Psalm of Solomon

1 Give the king Your judgments, O God, And Your righteousness to the king’s son. 2 May he judge Your people with righteousness And Your afflicted with justice. 3 Let the mountains bring peace to the people, And the hills, in righteousness.

4 May he vindicate the afflicted of the people, Save the children of the needy And crush the oppressor. 5 Let them fear You while the sun endures, And as long as the moon, throughout all generations. 6 May he come down like rain upon the mown grass, Like showers that water the earth.

7 In his days may the righteous flourish, And abundance of peace till the moon is no more. 8 May he also rule from sea to sea And from the River to the ends of the earth. 9 Let the nomads of the desert bow before him, And his enemies lick the dust.

10 Let the kings of Tarshish and of the islands bring presents; The kings of Sheba and Seba offer gifts. 11 And let all kings bow down before him, All nations serve him. 12 For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help, The afflicted also, and him who has no helper.

13 He will have compassion on the poor and needy, And the lives of the needy he will save. 14 He will rescue their life from oppression and violence, And their blood will be precious in his sight; 15 So may he live, and may the gold of Sheba be given to him; And let them pray for him continually; Let them bless him all day long.

16 May there be abundance of grain in the earth on top of the mountains; Its fruit will wave like the cedars of Lebanon; And may those from the city flourish like vegetation of the earth. 17 May his name endure forever; May his name increase as long as the sun shines; And let men bless themselves by him; Let all nations call him blessed.

18 Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who alone works wonders. 19 And blessed be His glorious name forever; And may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen. 20 The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended. (NASB)

This is a Coronation Psalm, dedicated to the prosperity of Solomon at the beginning of his reign (1 Kings 2).  It is unclear to me whether David or Solomon is the author (because of v20).  No New Testament writer applies any of the psalm to Christ.  It appears to be a description of how a righteous king (and government) will operate and a prayer by Solomon that God will enable him to rule in this manner.  Here are some of the principles I draw from it.  A righteous king/government will:

  1. Make righteous judgments that are in accord with God’s will (v1-2)
    1 Give the king Your judgments, O God, And Your righteousness to the king’s son. 2 May he judge Your people with righteousness And Your afflicted with justice.
  2. Establish peace (v3,7)
    3 Let the mountains bring peace to the people, And the hills, in righteousness…7 In his days may the righteous flourish, And abundance of peace till the moon is no more.
  3. Vindicate, protect and have compassion on the afflicted and needy (v4,13)
    4 May he vindicate the afflicted of the people, Save the children of the needy And crush the oppressor…13 He will have compassion on the poor and needy, And the lives of the needy he will save.
  4. Encourage the people to fear God (v5)
    5 Let them fear You while the sun endures, And as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
  5. Establish and promote righteousness in the nation (v7)
    7 In his days may the righteous flourish, And abundance of peace till the moon is no more.
  6. Enemies should fear the righteous nation (v9)
    8 May he also rule from sea to sea And from the River to the ends of the earth. 9 Let the nomads of the desert bow before him, And his enemies lick the dust.
  7. Protect the people from evil, oppression and violence (v14a)
    14 He will rescue their life from oppression and violence
  8. Honor the fallen (v14b)
    And their blood will be precious in his sight
  9. Increase the prosperity, abundance and flourishing of the nation (v15,16)
    15 So may he live, and may the gold of Sheba be given to him; And let them pray for him continually; Let them bless him all day long. 16 May there be abundance of grain in the earth on top of the mountains; Its fruit will wave like the cedars of Lebanon; And may those from the city flourish like vegetation of the earth.
  10. Other nations should respect the nation (v17)
    17 May his name endure forever; May his name increase as long as the sun shines; And let men bless themselves by him; Let all nations call him blessed.
  11. Acknowledge the LORD as the source of all these blessings and seek His glory and that His name be magnified (v18-19)
    18 Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who alone works wonders. 19 And blessed be His glorious name forever; And may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen.

I can’t help but reflect that the conservative vision of government in the U.S. seems to align well with these principles.

Resources used:

  1. Sermon on Psalm 71 by Derek W.H. Thomas entitled: “Graying With Glory”: https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=4161891740
  2. MacArthur Study Bible comments
  3. Bearing One Another’s Burdens – article by John MacArthur on Ligonier’s website: https://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/bearing-one-anothers-burdens/
  4. My mind (“we have the mind of Christ” – 1 Corinthians 2:16)