January 28, 2014

The Mind Governed by Flesh

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

Romans 8:6-8 NIV

Religion

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

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

James 1:26-27

January 27, 2014

Living By The Truth

Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

John 3:20-21

January 25, 2014

Keep a Cool Head

Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.

1 Peter 5:8-11 MSG

January 23, 2014

How Great Is Our God!



Name above ALL names
You are worthy of ALL praise
and my heart will sing
how great is our God

The legalistic Church of Christ denomination is wrong about musical instruments in church services


I wish more Christ followers would take the time to read their bibles and follow God instead of men. The Legalistic Church of Christ will tell people that the New Testament is the only testament people should follow and that Christ died on the cross to abolish the Old Testament. Just typing that out makes me want to gag!

In Mathew 5:17 Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” When Jesus died on the cross he said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). The Greek word translated “it is finished” is “tetelestia” which means “paid in full.” Jesus eliminated the debt owed by mankind—the debt of sin.

The Legalistic Church of Christ Denomination is so contradictory in its man-made practices and man-made teachings it has twisted the Word of God and continues to this day to pick and choose which parts of the bible it feels is relevant. This particular denomination reminds me of the following verses in the bible: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.” (Matthew 15:8-9, See also Isaiah 29:13) People reading this will be offended and that’s okay because Jesus goes on further in the chapter to say, “Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)

There are bible verses that support the use of instruments but the Legalistic Church of Christ Denomination will tell you these verses are of no relevance: Psalm 33:2, Psalm 71:22, Psalm 81:1-3, Psalm 92:1-4, Psalm 98:5-6.

Ephesians 5:19 refers to the phrase “making melody” which happens to be the Greek word “psallo” which means to pluck off, pull out, to cause to vibrate by touching, to twang, to touch or strike a chord, to twang the strings of a musical instrument. Hence, making melody to the Lord involves the use of musical instruments.

Let’s take it a step further: Our voices are instruments. Music is also a universal language. The Gospel will be proclaimed to every nation, tribe, LANGUAGE and people. The bible says to worship the creator; it doesn’t say you can’t use musical instruments in worship. Also, worship doesn’t just take place in church. Hopefully, it is taking place in your heart, mind and soul.

The Legalistic Church of Christ Denomination reminds me of the part in the bible where Jesus said, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” (Matthew 23:13-14) “Woe blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” (Matthew 23:24) Read all of chapter 23. Jesus doesn’t mince words about blind guides and hypocrites.

The Legalistic Church of Christ Denomination will tell people that instruments, choirs, and solos hinder all-membership participation. Is that not the most idiotic statement you have ever heard in your entire life? They will tell everyone that man is not at liberty to worship God freely. You have to worship God their way or it’s the highway. They go on to say that churches who worship God freely have made their worship entertainment-oriented. They also go on to say that it’s important not to draw a crowd but to do what pleases God. Can you believe it? Sounds like more door-slamming to me!

It is in my humble opinion that the Legalistic Church of Christ is off their rocker! They are missing the point so bad that it’s more important for them to argue and debate non-essential stupid arguments than it is to preach The Good News! Nowhere in the bible does it say that you can’t worship God with an instrument AND there are MANY instances IN THE BIBLE of examples where people did use instruments in worship. If you don’t want to worship God with an instrument then don’t but to tell people who do they are doing it wrong is asinine.

I’m starting to believe that the Legalistic Church of Christ Denomination is run by a bunch of people with narcissistic personality disorder. The bible says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” (James 1:6-8)

If the Legalistic Church of Christ Denomination can’t seem to get it right on instruments in worship and they are condemning people who do it—can you imagine what else they are wrong about? Thousands of people are being misled. I think the reason for this is because people are not reading their bibles. The fact that this even comes into play as a goal or belief system in their church should send up red flags!

There are other things that annoy me about the Legalistic Church of Christ but today I felt like writing about their stance on absolutely NO instruments in church. They will tell you that you aren’t worshiping in spirit or in truth if you use instruments.

Don’t be a blind guide, read your bible. Follow God, not men. Read the WHOLE bible in CONTEXT and STOP twisting to suit a self-centered, controlling, manipulative, narcissistic, man-made agenda.

Disclaimer: Not all Church of Christ Churches are legalistic. In this blog post I am referring to the Legalistic Church of Christ Churches.

January 21, 2014

The one who perseveres under trial

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12 NIV

We live in Him and He in us

This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.

1 John 4:13-15 NIV

January 20, 2014

The Word of Our God Endures Forever

“All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.   The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass.   The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”

Isaiah 40:6b-8 NIV

Believers In Humble Circumstances

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.

James 1:9-11 NIV

The One Who Doubts

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

James 1:5-8 NIV

Consider It Pure Joy

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4 NIV

Love Your Enemies

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Luke 6:35-36 NIV

January 19, 2014

Loving God Includes Loving People

If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.

1 John 4:20-21 MSG

Self-Centered Evildoers and Imposters

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be LOVERS OF THEMSELVES, lovers of money, BOASTFUL, PROUD, ABUSIVE, DISOBEDIENT to their parents, UNGRATEFUL, UNHOLY, WITHOUT love, UNFORGIVING, SLANDEROUS, WITHOUT self-control, BRUTAL, NOT lovers of the good, TREACHEROUS, RASH, CONCEITED, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.   They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, ALWAYS LEARNING BUT NEVER ABLE TO COME TO KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of DEPRAVED minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.   You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, FAITH, PATIENCE, LOVE, ENDURANCE, PERSECUTIONS, SUFFERINGS—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while EVILDOERS and IMPOSTERS will go from BAD to WORSE, DECEIVING and being DECEIVED. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you WISE FOR SALVATION THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:1-17 NIV

The Greatest Commandment

Matthew 22:36-40

New International Version (NIV)

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

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Footnotes: Matthew 22:37, Deut. 6:5, Matthew 22:39, Lev. 19:18

This Sums It Up

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 7:12

January 18, 2014

The Necessity of Baptism


While we recognize that Jesus commanded baptism (Matt. 28:19), as did the apostles (Acts 2:38), we should not say that baptism is necessary for salvation.

(The Roman Catholic teaching as well as the teachings of several Protestant denominations teach that baptism is necessary for salvation. Although there are different nuances to their teaching, such a position is held by many Episcopalians, many Lutherans, and by the Churches of Christ.)

To say that baptism or any other action is necessary for salvation is to say that we are not justified by faith alone, but by faith plus a certain “work,” the work of baptism. The apostle Paul would have opposed the idea that baptism is necessary for salvation just as strongly as he opposed the similar idea that circumcision was necessary for salvation (see Gal. 5:1-12).

Those who argue that baptism is necessary for salvation often point to Mark 16:16: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” But the very evident answer to this is simply to say that the verse says nothing about those who believe and are not baptized. The verse is simply talking about general cases without making a pedantic qualification for the unusual case of someone who believes and is not baptized. But certainly the verse should not be pressed into service and made to speak of something it is not talking about.

(Moreover, it is doubtful whether Mark 16:16 should be used in support of a theological position at all, since there are many ancient manuscripts that do not have this verse or Mark 16:9-20, and it seems most likely that this verse was not in the gospel as Mark originally wrote it.)

More to the point is Jesus’ statement to the dying thief on the cross, “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). The thief could not be baptized before he died on the cross, but he was certainly saved that day. Moreover, the force of this point cannot be evaded by arguing that the thief was saved under the old covenant (under which baptism was not necessary to salvation), because the new covenant took effect at the death of Jesus (see Heb. 9:17), and Jesus died before either of the two thieves who were crucified with him (see John 19:32-33).

Another reason why baptism is not necessary for salvation is that our justification from sins takes place at the point of saving faith, not at the point of water baptism, which usually occurs later. But if a person is already justified and has sins forgiven eternally at the point of saving faith, then baptism is not necessary for forgiveness of sins nor for the bestowal of new spiritual life.

Hat Tip: Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The guilt of children and parents

The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child.

(EZK 18:20 NIV)

Secret Petitions of Your Heart

Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

Psalm 37:3-4 AMP

All Things

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

Colossians 1:16

January 16, 2014

Overwhelmed

When my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. –Psalm 61:2

January 13, 2014

All Your Heart

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13 ESV

January 12, 2014

Love Does No Wrong

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Romans 13:10 ESV

January 10, 2014

Running Over

give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

Luke 6:38 ESV

January 9, 2014

All I Can Do (Thank You)



All I can do is thank You for this life I never deserved. Wanna thank You for the grace I know I don’t have to earn. You love me, You love me, Your mercy is proof… All I can do is say thank You… All I can do is say thank You.

Spiritual Forces of Evil

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:12 ESV

January 6, 2014

Great is Your Faithfulness

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;  they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.   “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

LAM 3:22-24 ESV

January 5, 2014

Worship based on human rules

The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.

Isaiah 29:13

January 2, 2014

Happy New Year Advent Readers



Okay, so Christmas Eve rolled around and I totally dropped the ball. We were so busy I just couldn't keep up. Were you able to finish the book of John? If not, take some time to try and finish the book up. I believe it's John Chapters 9-21. Chime in with anything you gleaned from your reading. 

Do you have any resolutions for 2014? I really like what that pictures up there says about reading my Bible and then doing what it says. It reminds me of the book of James. It's a great resolution. I started to read through my bible last year, didn't finish, but I'm not giving up. I'm still digging into his word daily and am determined to complete the reading. I'm using a bible app on YouVersion called "Eat this Book" and it goes in order adding a Psalm at the end. I like that. My husband has started that reading plan for 2014.

In the past I have had resolutions that I believe to be ongoing and not just for the new year. One of them is to keep my expectations low. Who I am is not dependent on what is going on around me. Also, I have been taking more of life to God in prayer than to people. Oh, don't get me wrong...It's great to have those "safe" people you can talk to. It's part of sharing one another's burdens. But, more and more I tend to take my burdens to God first and let it sit to see what He might have to say about it.

It's amazing what can happen when you pray for God to show you what it is you need to see. Every time I pray that prayer He shows me something whether it's in a dream or something little going on in life around me. Lately, I've been praying for Him to reveal His will for my life. That is scary sometimes but when you trust God you know at the end of the day He holds you in the palm of His hand. I have been through so much and look how far He has brought me.

Did anything from reading the book of John stand out to you in a way you never noticed before? How did you like these advent readings? Does it make you want to keep reading your bible over and over again? I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and an even Happier New Year!