Wednesday, February 21, 2018

What do you Personally Take Seriously?



What Do You Take Seriously?
Barbara Henderson

Getting up in the morning seems to require caffeine.  I take that seriously.   I am not a coffee drinker, but I must have that cup of tea.  Then I must also have a second and a third cup of tea.  If I am in the mood I will drink it all day. I take it seriously that I must also have fresh water to make the tea.  I also need a nice biscuit with possibly a slice of ham to go with my first cup of morning tea.  I am serious.  If I don’t get caffeine and food I will have a headache and possibly be grumpy.  Actually, I am seldom grumpy.  I will just be droopy and unable to do much of anything.  If I want to get anything done in a day I MUST take my morning caffeine seriously!

Of course people joke about their morning drink.  Most people have something specific they begin the day eating and drinking.  Those who don’t have a morning routine probably don’t get much done most days. There are things far more important than morning drinks and favorite foods.  There are rules by which we live.

I take my marriage seriously.  I take my family seriously.  I take my friends seriously.  All these things require commitment.  I do have to pay attention to what is happening and do my best to be a helpful part of what is going on with those I love.

The danger zone is when it all becomes routine.  Maybe we forget just how serious life is.  I don’t mean we shouldn’t joke around or have any fun.  But in the midst of whatever is happening on a daily basis, there is still the seriousness of making sure we are there for those we love. 

The starting point for dealing properly with the things we take seriously is to take God seriously. No one can be the best they can be without putting God first.  Putting God first covers a lot of territory.  You can boil it down to simply having a reverent awe of God and making a careful effort to be obedient to His teachings as revealed in His written word.  That is absolutely the best thing you can possibly do for your loved ones. 

Every single human being is separated from Almighty God because God is utterly continually perfect and we are not.  The first thing everyone needs to take seriously is to make peace with God.  He has given us simple instructions on how that is done.  Go to God the Father through Christ the Son.  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. 

Once someone makes peace with God, that person starts out on a new life.  That life is supposed to be a life lived in obedience to God’s instructions.  It is a given that no one actually pulls that off perfectly, but it is also a given that true believers do take obedience very seriously.  They do not belong to a crowd that feels entitled to sin because they know God will forgive them.  Actually, continuing in sin gets true believers into more trouble than non-believers.  God is a loving father.  He isn’t going to allow His children to act like heathens without taking them to task.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Better to Think about the Future than the Past



A Long Time Ago When We Were Young and Healthy
Barbara Henderson

I was thinking about 'a long time ago when I was well'. I was thinking about before cancer. But with thinking about it a little more I came up with two thoughts that indicate clearer thinking,

First, I was never well. I have had fragile health my entire life. First my doctor bills practically put my parents in the poor house. Then a few good years as a young adult, and then back to sick all the time. No matter what I do or how hard I try to 'feel good' physically I still have health problems. Fortunately, I usually feel good emotionally.

Second, no one is ever actually well. We are all born with the sin nature. We are all born to die. Some have longer life spans than others. There are reports today of people living into their early 100s and still having relatively good health even in this day and time. Some are blessed with a short illness before they pass into eternity. But everyone's body eventually lets them down. It fails to do what the mind wants the body to do. Everyone has limits on what their body will do even from the time of their birth.

So, 'a long time ago when I was well' should be stated like this: 'In eternity I will be completely and eternally well in both mind and body.'

Heaven is for real. Hell is also for real. You can know where you will spend eternity. Let me help you if you are having problems being sure of your future.

First, being saved is not a feeling. It is turning your future over to Jesus Christ. Being saved usually brings about a feeling of relief and joy, but not always. The devil and his angels can copy any emotion. How easy it would be to give people the 'feeling of being saved' when they are still far from Christ.  So, the question is simply to ask yourself if you sincerely turned your life over to Christ.  One indicator is to be baptized.  That isn’t what saves you, but it does tell the world that you have become a follower of Jesus Christ.  Eventually joy in your salvation will come.  As I already said it most likely will come with your initial surrender of your life to Christ.  That is what happened to me, but I was tormented by fear of hell later which caused me to doubt.  Eventually I talked to our preacher who said that since I prayed to be saved several times, perhaps I was saved at a later date than my first prayer.  He suggested that I be rebaptized.  So, I was rebaptized.  I felt wonderful for about a week.  Then doubt hit me again like a ton of bricks.  Then I realized that it was just the devil up to his old tricks. 

If you are having doubts about your salvation you need to talk to a pastor or someone you trust regarding spiritual matters.  You should either decide you are saved and the devil or your own sin nature is tormenting you, or you will decide that you do indeed need to get saved.  Once you have the matter settled you need to determine that you are going to go by faith instead of feelings.  It is very simple.  When doubts arise ask yourself,
‘Do I believe God?’
‘Did I follow His instructions to get myself adopted into His family?’
If you can truly answer ‘YES’ then you are saved.
If you are troubled with doubt:

Confess doubt as sin. 
Pray for faith to grow.

Second being saved opens yourself up to attacks from the devil that are different than attacks previously.  Doubt is just something that everyone experiences.  Temptations of various kinds are also new.  To me and I think most people the two major temptations are
pride about one thing or another and
lying.  Personally, I never was a big liar when it came to lying to others (except my mom as a teenager – and I eventually decided that even that was just too big a burden to carry. I just told the truth and faced the consequences.)  My tendency when lying was/is to lie to myself.  I just twist things slightly in my favor. I know this is wrong.  The Holy Spirit convicts of that being a sin whenever I give it a try. Sometimes I have almost convinced myself that a still small voice said, ‘BARBARA – you KNOW that isn’t exactly how that happened.’  I think that is how people often begin to twist the truth.  They just lie to themselves a tiny bit at a time.  In the course of a few weeks or even years of going over the ‘event’ that ‘wasn’t your fault’ it can go from you being the most innocent of two people to you being a martyr and the other person being a direct tool of the devil.

Far more important than keeping your body healthy is to keep your mind healthy.  I think a key factor in a healthy mind is to tell the truth to yourself.  God gives the gift of a sound mind, but that gift can be sealed away from your thoughts if lies are how you justify wrong doing (sin) on your part.  Don’t shoot yourself in the foot so to speak by lying to yourself.  That is ‘giving place to the devil’. 

Today we see half of the USA caught up in Delusionalism.  They have convinced themselves of many lies.  Evolution is a big lie.  It couldn’t possibly be true, yet so many in the world believe it.  It is practically a religion.  Let me change that.  The pseudo-science of Evolutionalism is a religion.  It is an offshoot of Delusionalism.  You have to be able to lie to yourself before you can believe evolution has the slightest hint of truth to it.

People are making up religions:
Wiccan – witch craft for good. 
Mormanism – invented by one delusional man and followed today by many.
Islam – invented by one very evil delusional tool of the devil named Mohamad.
Feminism – not labeled a religion – but still a deeply held belief.
     Within feminism is the worship of abortion – that is the most deeply help belief of feminists, with misandric treatment of all men as a close second, and the ultimate superiority of women over men is the final plank in their belief system.  
Jedi-ism – following a pseudo religion from a movie!  (Think ‘Star Wars’)  This is true – people are following this a legitimate religion.
Jedism (with one i) – worship of Jed Clampet – which makes more sense than following Jedi-ism, and it is has just as much chance of getting a person into heaven as all the other man made religions.

Today very few seek the ultimate truth.  They look for something they like and label that as the truth.  It is really a form of self-worship.
Adherents to these pseudo-religions make up a god that:
requires no sacrafice of them of which they do not approve,
doesn’t see their sin,
and is basically made in their own image.

But as Christians we are to seek ultimate truth.  It isn’t our job to add or subtract any teaching from the Bible. It is best to read and study an entire book of the Bible at the same time. 

Remember the Bible is:
Inerrant – without error
Sufficient – everything necessary to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is presented in the Bible.  Any other knowledge – no matter how true – is just a human interest story.
Relevant – the problems facing mankind are the same basic things that have faced them from the beginning.  Satan’s lies are presented as the truth by gullible adherents to any silly pseudo-scientific manmade belief.  Mankind falls for these lies because he/she is prideful and often willingly ignorant of the truth.  Galatians 3:1 reminds us in chapter that even the saved can be bewitched or led astray. 
     O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

It is much harder to bewitch a Christian, or lead them astray initially if they know sound Bible doctrine.  Even knowing just the basics will allow a believer to spot many lies when initially presented.  They won’t be fooled by new revelations or subject matter that promises personal prosperity or something that may be contrary to what God says.  Sound doctrine doesn’t allow you to break the commandments because ‘God wants you to be happy’, or because ‘it feels right’.  Pay attention to what the Bible does teach.  Believers today are no better or smarter than the foolish Galatians who allowed themselves to be led astray by false teachings/bewitchment.  We are without excuse because we have the Bible in our hands, on line, on cd, and since we have heard so much of the Bible repeatedly much of it should also be in our memory.
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?  Galatians 3:1

The Bible teaches:
Inerrancy of scripture
Glory to God alone
Deity of Christ
Bodily death and resurrection of Christ
Bodily return of Jesus Christ.

Anything that teaches anything apart from the most basic Bible truths is not going improve over time.  It will only get worse.  So, start your Bible studies with these things in mind.  Then choose a good study Bible.
 I like the Thompson Chain Reference Bible. 
It gives you a lot of information regarding:
who wrote the book,
to whom it was written,
the subject/reason the book was written/ and
an outline of the book/sequence of events in the book
and massive concordances and references. 

Sometimes I read just the outlines of the Bible books.  This will familiarize you with the books when you don’t have the urge for deep Bible study.  This may actually give you the urge to study.

As you begin to study the Bible in depth you begin to see heaven.  You begin to understand that while we don’t have the capacity to understand heaven, we can grasp to some extent that heaven is wonderful beyond our imagination.  As you think about a future that is unimaginably wonderful you start to think about the eternal future that awaits you.  You thank God that your future is so much better than you past, no matter how wonderful your past may have been.  You begin to think about your future where you are eternally healthy in mind and body and with loved ones and friends who are also believers.

He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.  Revelation 22;20

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Thank you for reading my article
Barbara