VerseD: Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13, ESV

Our faith is not blind but is also a gift from God. Ask Him to grant you the joy and peace that comes from the hope we have in Christ.

Should people disregard Bible experts and go it alone?

Running The Race

“God is capable of accurately relaying His Word to us in a way that we can understand. It is crucial that we interpret properly to determine the intended meaning rather than forcing ideas into the text.”

Not that long ago I was listening to a pastor I like quite a bit say Christians can lose their salvation and back that assertion up with Scripture.

Further, he said that people should disregard Bible experts entirely and look at Scripture itself to figure out it’s intended meaning.

I’m not, by any means, saying that reading the Word without the aid of commentaries, a good concordance, Bible dictionaries, etc. is a bad thing at all, we should all do it, and do it often.

I do believe however, that people, given their sin nature, can and will, often without even realizing it, force their own ideas into the text and that is dangerous.

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VerseD: Proverbs 18:10

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
Proverbs 18:10, ESV

We do not need to defend God. His Word is enough. Trust in the name of Jesus.

(But also be ready to give an answer to those who question! 1 Peter 3:15)

VerseD: Psalm 127:1

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
Psalm 127:1, ESV

In other words, entrust your plans to God, and realize He is in control. Rest in His strength and wisdom.

VerseD: Psalm 56:3

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
Psalm 56:3, ESV

There is only One in whom we can trust fully in the pains and fears of life: Our Creator, Sustainer, and Savior. The Lord God.

Nothing New: The Church’s Foundation: Part 3: Republic Standings

I am currently the Youth Pastor for The Church Next Door in Prescott Valley, AZ. On Sunday, August 11, 2019, I took over teaching the adult Sunday School class (the foundation of why we learn from history) before the regular service. (If you find yourself in North Central Arizona, specifically the Prescott Valley area, come join in from 8:45 to 9:45 AM, and then stay for the singing and sermon at 10!)

The second and third lessons were combined in the post two weeks ago, with a look at when the Church was founded and the various forms of leadership Jesus dealt with. Last week was a look at how he rebuked those in leadership.

Again, here are my notes:

Nothing New: The Importance of Church History

Lesson 4: Christ and the Church’s Foundation – Modern Comparisons

The leadership in the time of Jesus included the entirely secular yet pagan Roman Empire, the hyper-religious Pharisees, the super-compromised Sadducees, the fastidious Essenes, and the rebellious Zealots.

Briefly, how do we see nothing new in our leadership?

Modern comparisons:

  • Government:
    • Rome allowed for religious plurality, but you were still required to acknowledge state-sanctioned beliefs.
      • Law-based:
        • Caesar was deified.
        • Marriage was between men and women, but prostitutes and slaves were still free rein (mostly for men; women had few rights.) And only men who “received” were less masculine.
      • Entertainment (to distract):
        • Plays (actors were known as “hypocrites” – Two-faced
        • Colliseum – violence was a favorite
      • Education:
        • Usually only the elite/rich could receive an education
    • Today: Every government is different, but there are many similarities:
      • Either a god or leader (i.e. Islam) or the State are practically (or literally) worshiped.
        • We attempt to legislate morality (liberal/leftist – conservative, alike)
        • Our political heroes are practically deified.
        • Often the sciences or pet policies (see Climate Change, Gun rights, sexual ethics, patriotism) are practically (or even literally) worshiped.
      • Sexual ethics: The Jews were looked down on for looking down on Roman practices, and today we have LGBTQ+ issues causing the same with governments and churches
      • Education:
        • We are not allowed to teach religious beliefs in schools, yet atheistic beliefs are expected to be adhered to: i.e. Naturalistic evolution, sexual ethics, behavioral ethics, etc.
        • We deviate from the essential (Mathematics, Grammar, Reasoning, etc.) to emotionalism and preference.
      • Entertainment:
        • Sports: Athletes are practically deified, and teams are given more attention than religious obligations.
        • Movies/TV Shows: Gradually getting more graphic – sex, violence, language – and generally more agenda driven than with good writing.
        • All basically distract – escapism/mob-mentality/propoganda

Applicable Scripture:

  • Titus 2
  • 1 Timothy 1
  • Romans 1

Next time: Modern comparisons to some of the religious leadership!

VerseD: Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:17, ESV

Our Savior God calms our tormented souls and complaining hearts through His sacrificial love, and He teaches us to sing with Joy and by His Holy Spirit.