Statement of faith

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV)

"The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God. To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with his Word.
- Warren


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

BIBLE-STUDY SNIP-IT

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Week of: April 21, 2014                             pmcrawford1@gmail.com
Sharing by: Pam Crawford

Leviticus 22:29-33
When you bring a thanksgiving offering to the LORD, it must be sacrificed properly so it will be accepted on your behalf. Eat the entire sacrificial animal on the day it is presented. Don’t leave any of it until the second day. I am the LORD. You must faithfully keep all my commands by obeying them, for I am the LORD. Do not treat my holy name as common and ordinary. I must be treated as holy by the people of Israel. It is I, the LORD, who makes you holy. It was I who rescued you from Egypt, that I might be your very own God. I am the LORD. 

Understanding God’s Holiness                                                                                                         by Dr. Charles Stanley

If you've ever read through Leviticus, you may have wondered why God gave the Israelites so many rules and details about sacrifices and worship procedures. When I was a boy, I remember thinking all those cows could have fed a lot of people. To me, the sacrifices seemed like a big waste, but that's because I didn't understand what the Lord was teaching His people.
Today we have the finished Scriptures to help us understand who God is and what He desires of us. But in the days of the Old Testament, He taught His people by example. He wanted them to grasp three things: His holiness; their sinfulness and the consequences of disobedience; and His care for them—that He was the source of every good thing. The rules and regulations He instituted were visible object lessons.
In every detail, He revealed His holiness—and in every sacrifice, the cost of sin. The rules of the tabernacle taught the people not to take worship lightly. It was a serious and awesome privilege to approach a holy, righteous God.
Today, it's rather easy to lose sight of the Lord's holiness. To prevent that, try re-examining the Old Testament sacrificial system for a fresh perspective on the seriousness of worship.
God is our heavenly Father, and we have instant access to His throne room. Yet we should think about whether we're treating Him with the reverence He deserves. At church, instead of being preoccupied and distracted, we should understand what a privilege it is to come into His presence.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Quiet-Time Reflections

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Week of: April 7, 2014                       pmcrawford1@gmail.com
Sharing by: Pam Crawford

2 Chronicles 34:21 - Go and inquire of the LORD for me and for the remnant of Israel and Judah about what is written in the book that has been found. Great is the LORD’S anger that is poured out on us because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written in this book.

Deuteronomy 4:2
Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.

Guilty by Association - Part 2                                                                                                          
A few weeks back I shared that the tide is turning for those in America who embrace the Christian faith. I addressed that this is not just happening outside the church, it is also happening within the body of Christ through the act of conforming to the standards of popular consensus and embracing a worldview that is in direct conflict with what the Word of God says. To better understand part 2 of this message I encourage you to scroll down on my blog and read part 1 if you have not yet done so. Don’t just read it, take time to study any part of it that you may disagree with.

“Today immorality is accepted and common place. But God’s commands have not changed. – Charles Stanley

Lately it seems that the marketing buzz is centered on the theme of “new.” As Christians we might want to consider that this “new” which is being sold in our world today is in direct conflict with God’s standards for holy living (Leviticus 19). We now have car companies and even our favorite graham snacks jumping on board with advertisements that glorify a lifestyle that is in opposition to the Word of God.

Have we really come to a time in history again where it will be a “free for all” society? Sleep with your brother, make love to your pets. Have numerous wives, marry your children. It’s all in the name of love, right? Go ahead, cheat one another. Take from them what you believe you deserve. Consult psychics because you can’t count on God to guide you through life. Sell your girlfriend into prostitution because there is good money in it. Withhold pay from those who work hard for you. It’s your money anyway, right? Tarnish someone’s reputation through gossip. Who cares, right? (See 1 Corinthians 6:9-20 and Leviticus 18:1-30).

Really? Is this where we’re going? For some, the blindness is empowered by activists who sell us trash in the name of “human/civil rights.”  Believers and unbeliever’s alike; it might be time we heed the warning found in 2 Timothy chapter 3 of the Holy Bible which was written to the people of that era and for generations to follow.

“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 by denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose truth – 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.”

Yes, it’s appears that it has been a long time since the warning of Christ's return. However, if you profess Christian beliefs then you know we are told it does all end someday (Revelation 22:7-21). We won’t be standing before marketing guru’s or civil rights activists. We won't be standing before our family and friends who want us to embrace their ways. We will stand before the KING of Kings and the LORD of lords! Because no one knows the day nor the hour of Christ's return (Matthew 24:36), it might be wise to determine today whether we’re going to remain on board with God or we’re going to compromise our convictions for this "new" world viewpoint. 

Something is very wrong and aligning your convictions with the teachings of Jesus Christ through the Holy Word of God will land you in the courtroom of public opposition. You can expect it brothers/sisters. Even those who don’t embrace Christianity but live out a conviction as it relates to a natural sense of right and wrong, can expect trouble. Being obedient to the Word of Truth will get you a “guilty by association” verdict so you better be ready for it.

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and imposters 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 man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:12-17

Life’s Application Commentary: “In a permissive society it is easy for Christians to overlook or tolerate some immoral behavior (greed, drunkenness, etc.) while remaining outraged at others (homosexuality, thievery). We must not participate in sin or condone it in any way; we cannot be selective about what we condemn or excuse. Staying away from more “acceptable” forms of sin is difficult, but it is no harder for us than it was for the Corinthians. God expects his followers in any age to have high standards. Paul told Timothy that people who obey God and live for Christ will be persecuted. Don’t be surprised when people misunderstand, criticize, and even try to hurt you because of what you believe and how you live. Don’t give up. Continue to live as you know you should. God is the only one you need to please.”

In closing, may I address the professed Christ follower directly? Many of us are on dangerous ground! We are compromising the Word of God for public opinion and societal views. We’re buying into the mentality that everyone has the right to love whomever they please. We celebrate victories where the very fabric of the God ordained institution of marriage is being shredded and mocked. We sit back and allow the death of more innocent babies in the name of our rights as women. We allow God to be ushered out of the public square because we don’t want to ruffle feathers. Some use the argument that “we are all God’s people” and some go as far to agree that God’s Word has no relevance in today’s society. Yes, God created all people, but it might be necessary to take a fresh look at the Gospel of John 8:31-47 to determine for yourself if we really are all God’s children.

Guilty! Yes, I am guilty because of my association with Jesus Christ and I expect to suffer for my alignment to Him. I believe that what God inspired numerous writers to share in His Holy Word thousands of years ago still applies today and I won’t tarry from that. I believe that God gave us direct guidelines for all of life’s actions including our sexuality. I also believe that God expects us to be obedient to what He has instructed in this very day and age and till the end of time.

Friends, in the end we don’t stand in the courtroom of public opinion and worldview. No, the Word says that we will stand before God’s throne where the books will be opened including the Book of Life. This is where we will be judged. If you believe this, I encourage you to heed this warning:

“And the dead were judged according to the things written in the books, according to what they had done. The sea gave up the dead in it, and death and the grave gave up the dead in them. They were all judged according to their deeds. And death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death – the lake of fire. And anyone whose name was not found in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.    -Revelation 20:11-15

The Book of Life contains the names of those who have put their trust in Christ to save them. “If by faith we have not identified with Christ, confessing him as Lord, there will be no hope, no second chance, no other appeal.” – LASB

A person who has experienced genuine salvation is a new person. The old has passed away. In our newness it will grieve us to grieve God. It's that simple! There is hope for anyone who battles moral temptation. That hope is made alive in turning from sin, accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, then living out the remainder of our days in direct agreement with the Father. 

May God’s grace and mercy encourage obedience and a repentant heart for anyone bent on continuing in their own way. Be blessed.

In Christ by grace,                                                                                                                       
Pam

"True love both confronts and restores." - Cetas

Additional Scripture Reading: Colossians 3, Romans 1:24, Galatians 5:19, 1 Thess. 4:2-6


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