Friday, April 17, 2015

WHO IS JESUS?


Some say He was just a good teacher, but good teachers don't claim to be God.

Some say He was merely a good example, but good examples don't mingle with prostitutes and sinners.

Some say He was a madman, but madmen don't speak the way He spoke.

Some say He was a crazed fanatic, but crazed fanatics don't draw children to themselves or attract men of intellect like Paul or Luke to be their followers.

Some say He was a religious phony, but phonies don't rise from the dead.

Some say He was only a phantom, but phantoms can't give their flesh and blood to be crucified.

Some say He was only a myth, but myths don't set the calendar for history.

Jesus has been called the ideal man, an example of love, the highest model of religion, the foremost pattern of virtue, the greatest of all men, and the finest teacher who ever lived. All of those descriptions capture elements of His character, but they all fall short of the full truth. The apostle Thomas expressed it perfectly when he saw Jesus after the resurrection, and exclaimed, "My Lord and My God!"(John 20:28).

 -- John F. MacArthur, Jr. in The Miracle of Christmas


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Thursday, April 16, 2015

WALKING BY FAITH

"For we walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7 NRSV)


Faith is meant to be an everyday companion -- not a weekend guest.  In the curriculum of the Christian life, faith is a required course -- not an elective.  Our whole life should be lived on the basis of faith -- not on the basis of just what we see.  Because appearances are often deceiving, obscuring rather than clarifying things of eternal significance (2 Corinthians 4:18).  Faith gives us the clues to distinguish between the temporal and the eternal, between our earthly hut and our heavenly home.


-- Charles R. Swindoll in The Practical Life of Faith




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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

THE PRIORITIES OF GOD'S KINGDOM


Jesus said, "The thing you should want most is God's kingdom and doing what God wants. Then all these other things you need will be given to you. So don't worry about tomorrow."  (Matthew 6:33-34 NCV)

During the height of Jesus' popularity in Israel, crowds followed Him everywhere, hungry for a word of insight or a touch of compassion. At that time, Jesus spoke at length (probably over several days) the words of what has come to be known as the Sermon on the Mount. Seated on a hill, Jesus shared practical lessons based on spiritual principles relating to everyday concerns. Jesus spoke about anger, revenge, and greed, the importance of building strong relationships, and God's provision for everyday needs, such as food and clothing.

Just like people today, the people of Jesus' time must have struggled to put all this into perspective. They must have longed to "get their priorities straight." Jesus' answer was simple: Put God first and everything else will fall into place. This life principle is as powerful today as it was back then. Relationships, goals, responsibilities, and desires are constantly competing for your attention. Only by looking at them from God's perspective can you make wise decisions on how to use your time and energy in the way that makes the most positive and effective difference.

By continually choosing to live out your life in a way that reflects the priorities of God's kingdom in heaven, your concerns about things that are out of your control lose their grip on your heart. Your dependence on material provision is transformed into a deep dependence on God. That's when you discover that whatever God provides is enough.

-- from 100 Favorite Bible Verses


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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

GOD HAS REVEALED HIMSELF IN CREATION

Consider the vastness of the universe.  Our galaxy is one of about a million galaxies in the range of our most powerful telescopes. If we could travel at the speed of light, 186,000 miles a second, it would take 100,000 years to go across our galaxy. In our galaxy it is estimated that there are 100 billion stars. Our sun is just one of them. Traveling in an orbit 155 miles a second, our sun would take 200 million years to complete a revolution around our galaxy.


"To whom then will you compare Me, or who is My equal? says the Holy One.  Lift up your eyes on high and see: Who created these? He who brings out their host and numbers them, calling them all by name; because He is great in strength, mighty in power, not one is missing." (Isaiah 40:25-26 NRSV)


No wonder the Psalmist writes, "The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims His handiwork."  (Psalm 19:1 NRSV)


Consider the wonders of earth itself. It spins on its axis without slowing up -- giving us day and night. It is tilted, so that we have the different seasons. It is just the right distance from the sun, so that we do not freeze or burn up. The earth contains all the natural resources necessary to sustain life. There are countless scientific testimonials to the orderliness of the world that prove an incredibly powerful Being created the universe.


-- New York Gospel Ministries


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NOTE: In connection with today's quote, I am offering one of my photographic images -- "Door County Sunset - Psalm 19" -- on a Limited Time Promotion.


Monday, April 13, 2015

WHO DO YOU SAY JESUS IS?


"Jesus asks the disciples, 'Who do you say I am?'" (Matthew 16:15)

Jesus Christ is end of all, and the centre to which all tends.  Whoever knows Him knows the reason of everything.

-- Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)


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