Archive for the ‘Miscellany’ Category

27
Oct

10 Myths About Islam

   Posted by: jmueller

Here is a link to an online book that is very informative about Islam:  http://www.studytoanswer.net/islam_myths.html

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2
Oct

Can Yoga be Christian?

   Posted by: jmueller

I recently had lunch with a friend that told me that a close relative of his is practicing Yoga.  This relative is a Christian, and feels that it is alright to practice Yoga, as well.

I thought I would compile some of the things that I know of that address this issue, as it seems to be so prevalent, today.  I have even seen churches advertise that they have Yoga courses.

I think that the main question here is this:  What is Yoga?  In answering this, I feel that we can then determine whether it is right to practice this as a Christian.

The Elder Council of my church addressed this very issue just a few years ago.  Here is an excerpt of that.  It is only an excerpt, as I do not want to expose the people that this was addressed to or about.

Here is the excerpt:

Second, and more importantly, the Elders have a biblical responsibility to watch over the flock, uphold the truth of scripture, and guard against anything which sets itself against the glory of God.  Several passages from the Bible are instructive here.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 17 “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

Isaiah 5:20-21 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.

The Elders of Grosse Pointe Baptist Church want you to know that we have your best interests in mind and because of this we do NOT endorse Christian “Yoga”.  “Yoga”, by definition, is a “school of Hindu philosophy advocating and prescribing a course of physical and mental disciplines for attaining liberation from the material world and union of the self with the Supreme Being or ultimate principle” Dictionary.com. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “Yoga” as “a Hindu theistic philosophy teaching the suppression of the activity of body, mind, and will in order that the self may realize its distinction from them and attain liberation.”

To claim that “Yoga” is not linked to any particular religion is false.

Without question, we know that God teaches us that healthy minds and healthy bodies are a gift from Him to be used for His glory.  (See Rom. 12:2; I Cor. 6:19-20).  If you want to exercise, we encourage you to do so.  But why would Christians want to borrow an expression from a false religion, from pantheism (god is everything, your everything is god), when we believe there’s only one true God–the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ)!  Many promote Christian Yoga as a harmless exercise, but the word Yoga carries with it a very specific meaning.  We cannot endorse Christian Yoga any more than we can endorse Christian Astrology, Christian Goddess Worship, Christian Kabbalah, Christian New Age, Christian Shamanism, Christian Reincarnation, Christian Tai Chi, Christian Wicca, Christian Witchcraft, or Christian Zen Buddhism. 

I think this explains very well what the Christian position should be in regard to Yoga.  There have also been several items from prominent Evangelical Christian Theologians.  Here are the links to them.

The Subtle Body — Should Christians Practice Yoga? by Dr. Albert Mohler

Albert Mohler – ‘Thinking In Public – Yoga’


Feel free to watch the video on this page, but I would also encourage you to go this video on YouTube.

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16
Jul

The Hiding Place!

   Posted by: jmueller

Be sure to listen to this precious song, “The hiding place!” as you read along with the lyrics!

The Hiding Place!

(James Smith, “Daily Bible Readings for the Lord’s Household”)

“A MAN will be as a hiding place from the wind,
And a refuge from the tempest,
As rivers of water in a dry place,
As the shade of a massive rock in an arid land!”
Isaiah 32:2

The present world is like a bleak and cheerless desert; the climate is very changeable, and we are exposed to piercing, cutting winds.

Sometimes dangerous errors,
sometimes deep afflictions,
sometimes soul-distressing trials,
like violent winds, blow upon us and fill us with alarm and dread!
At such times–a hiding place is necessary.

Jesus is our hiding place!

He will hide us from . . .
the wrath of God,
the rage of Hell, and
the injurious effects of trials and troubles!

Beloved, are you in this hiding place? If so, abide in it, for nowhere else will you find such safety, or enjoy such repose!

Hail, sovereign love which first began,
The scheme to rescue fallen man!
Hail, matchless, free, eternal grace,
Which gave my soul a hiding place!

Against the God who rules the sky,
I fought with hand uplifted high!
Despised the notion of His grace,
Too proud to seek a hiding place!

Enwrapt in thick Egyptian night,
And fond of darkness more than light!
Madly I ran the sinful race,
Secure without a hiding place!

But thus the eternal counsel ran:
“Almighty love–arrest that man!”
I felt the arrows of distress,
And found I had no hiding place!

Indignant Justice stood in view;
To Sinai’s fiery mount I flew!
But Justice cried, with frowning face,
“This mountain is no hiding place!”

E’er long, a heavenly voice I heard,
And Mercy’s angel soon appeared;
He led me on with gentle pace,
To Jesus as my hiding place!

Should sevenfold storms of thunder roll,
And shake the earth from pole to pole;
No thunder bolt could daunt my face,
For Jesus is my hiding place!

On Him almighty vengeance fell,
That would have sunk a world to hell!
He bore it for the chosen race,
And thus became their hiding place!

A few more rolling suns at most,
Shall land me on fair Canaan’s coast;
Where I shall sing the song of grace,
And see my glorious Hiding Place!

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24
Jun

The Eyes of Angels and The Face of My Father

   Posted by: jmueller

This is an excellent post at Wrestling with an Angel.  You can find it here.

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17
Jun

Solar Storms

   Posted by: jmueller Tags: , , , , ,

I was listening to part of the Paul Edwards program on WLQV 1500 AM yesterday while I was cooking dinner.  He was talking about scientific predictions about major solar storms in 2013.  Apparently this is something that happens once every generation.  The implications of this could be devastating to our ‘electronic’ society.  This would be the first generation of humans that would be facing this with this level of electronic and magnetic based technology.

Here is a link to a very good article from the NOAA which describes this in much greater depth.

I am starting to think that I should invest in companies that make optical media for computers, and magnetic shielding for electronic systems.  And of course, start looking at a backup system for my own computers that would not be prone to the magnetic fluctuations.

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Over at the Kingdom People blog, Trevin Wax interviews Robert Sugg.  The article is ‘Evangelicals & The Future of Art: An Interview with Robert Sugg’.

Here is an excellent excerpt:

It is no accident that one of the first things totalitarian regimes seize control of is the arts. Art defines culture. Life imitates art.

We can compare contemporary yuck art installations in public places with inspiring, beautiful monuments, but for a more familiar example, we can look to TV ads. Companies spend millions of dollars for one 30-second Super Bowl spot because they know advertising works—people buy or do what they see modeled—and that is just for a 30-second commercial. How much more does life imitate art for the modern culture that spends hours watching TV? If a 30-second spot shapes behavior, what changes can be expected from ingesting a one-hour program?

If children watch TV shows of other kids disrespecting their parents and hating their siblings, guess what behavior they are going to model at home? If entire congregations spend three hours a day watching shows where people drive flashy cars, wear designer clothes, live in fancy homes, and have many sexual partners, how will this affect the life of the church? Proverbs asks if a man can pour live coals into his lap and not be burned, yet we consistently fill our minds with evil and think we can come out unscathed.

Let us suppose for an instant that art in today’s society was used to uphold the true, the noble, the good, and the righteous. What would the effect be on society? What if married faithfulness, the value of life, and heroic ideals were the staples of today’s entertainment?

Many Christians are turning to podcasts, radio, and websites to bolster their faith, which comes “by hearing the word of God.” Imagine a revolution in which good, inspiring, and heroic themes become the norm instead of a fringe movement. If you could replace every pop song that glorifies rape, murder, crystal meth and marijuana with songs that hold up positive ideals, what would the result be?

Art is VITAL in the war for culture, and until people recognize this, we will continue to lose this particular battle.

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28
May

10 Reasons to Under-Program Your Church

   Posted by: jmueller

Here is an excellent post over at the gospel-driven church called 10 Reasons to Under-Program Your Church.

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27
May

A Moral Checkup for Your Mouth

   Posted by: jmueller

A Moral Checkup for Your Mouth

By Dr. Greg Bahnsen

It is every Christian’s heart-felt desire to live a more holy life, one that better glorifies God and displays His love. The process by which believers grow in holiness is called “sanctification.” It is the result of God’s powerful, transforming grace within us.

The outworking of the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work is not as vague or mystical as many well-meaning Christians imagine. It can be seen in very definite ways in our conduct—particularly in the way we use our mouths. About our linguistic habits God tells us: “All of us stumble in many ways, but if anyone is never at fault in what he says, then he is mature, able to control his whole body” (James 3:2).

Reforming the way we use our words, then, is a key to sanctification. The mouth is so troublesome and sinful that, if it can be made more holy, so can other areas of our conduct. For that reason, the following “oral check-up” has been devised, summarizing much of what the Bible teaches us about the way we should speak. If Christian morality were more evident here, God would surely receive greater glory—not only among us, but also through us before the world.

Notice the Destructive Power of Words

“Thy tongue devises very wickedness: like a sharp razor, working deceitfully…. Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue” (Psalm 52:2, 4).

“Who have whet their tongue like a sword, and have aimed their arrows, even bitter words. (Psalm 64:3)

“There is rash speaking which is like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings health” (Proverbs 12:18).

“A worthless man devises mischief, and in his lips there is as a scorching fire” (Proverbs 16:27).

“Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit: the poison of asps is under their lips” (Romans 3:13).

Do You Defame Fellow Believers with Harsh Language?

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a grievous word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise utters

knowledge aright, but the mouth of fools pours out folly… A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness therein is a breaking of the spirit” (Proverbs 15:1-4).

“The tongue is a fire, the world of iniquity among our members which defiles the whole body…and is set on fire by hell…. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith we bless the Lord and Father, and therewith we curse men, who are made after the likeness of God: out of the same mouth comes forth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so…. If you have bitter jealousy and faction in your heart, glory not and lie not against the truth. This wisdom is not a wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish…. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits…” (James 3:5-18).

Do You Criticize Unnecessarily or Talk Too Much?

“In the multitude of words there is no lack of transgression, but he who refrains his lips does wisely” (Proverbs 10:19).

“He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter” (Proverbs 11:13).

“A perverse man scatters abroad strife, and a whisperer separates best friends” (Proverbs 16:28).

“He who spares his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise. (Proverbs 17:27-28).

“For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, contention ceases. As coals are to hot embers, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to inflame strife. (Proverbs 26:20-21).

Do You Judgmentally or Maliciously Speak Evil of Fellow Believers?

“Speak not one against another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother speaks against the law and judges the law…[and so] is not a doer of the law” (James 4:11).

“You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son” (Psalm 50:20).

“Who are you to judge the servant of another? Before his own lord he stands or falls…. But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you set at nought your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of God…. Let us not therefore judge one another any more. (Romans 14:4, 8-13).

“All the day long they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil” (Psalm 56:5).

“I wrote unto you not to keep company, if any man that is named a brother be…a reviler…. Be not deceived: neither fornicators…nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 5:11; 6:10).

Do You Speak Uncharitably?

“Love is longsuffering and is kind…does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not its own, is not provoked, takes not account of evil, rejoices not in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

Do You Interpret People In The Best Light?

The man with unsound and ungodly attitudes] is puffed up…whereof comes envy, strife, railings, evil suspicion…” (1 Timothy 6:4).

[By contrast, the inspired writer, after speaking of evil actions, said:] “But beloved we are persuaded better things of you and things that accompany salvation…” (Hebrews 6:9).

[Examples of seeing others in the worst light: 1 Samuel 1:13-15; 17:28; 2 Samuel 10:3; 16:3; 19:25-27; Nehemiah 6:6-8; Acts 24:2,5. We can take one instance —] “And when the barbarians saw the venomous creature hanging from [Paul’s] hand, they said one to another, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped from the sea, yet Justice has not allowed to live (Acts 28:4).}

Is What You Say Kind?

“Let not kindness and truth forsake you; bind them about your neck: write them upon the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 3:3).

“The wise in heart shall be called prudent; and the sweetness of the lips increases learning…. Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones” (Proverbs 16:21, 24).

“She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue” (Proverbs 31:26).

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

“And be kind one to another, tenderhearted” (Ephesians 4:32).

“Put on…a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, gentleness, longsuffering…and above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection” (Colossians 3:12,14).

“Finally, be all of you like-minded, compassionate, loving as brethren, tenderhearted, humble-minded (1 Peter 3:8).

Does Your Speaking Show Humility?

“Do nothing through faction or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind, let each count the other as better than himself” (Philippians 2:3).

“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought to think….In love of the brethren be tenderly affectionate one to another; in honor preferring one another” (Romans 12:3, 10).

“With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2).

Do You Speak Carelessly?

“He who guards his mouth keeps his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction” (Proverbs 13:3).

“The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things” (Proverbs 15:28).

“Whosoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from troubles” (Proverbs 21:23).

“See a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Proverbs 29:20).

“If any man thinks himself to be religious and does not bridle his tongue, he deceives himself and this man’s religion is vain” (James 1:26).

“He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil and his lips that they speak no guile” (1 Peter 3:10).

Do You Choose Your Words Cautiously and Fairly, or Do You Press into Service Provocative (Emotive) and Unqualified (Categorical) Expressions?

” I say unto you that…whoever shall say to his brother “Raca” [a term of contempt] shall be in danger of the council, and whoever shall say “You fool” shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5:22).

“I said in my haste, ‘All men are liars’” (Psalm 116:11).

[When we oversimplify and lump together the righteous and unrighteous under one condemning rubric, note:] “He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord” (Proverbs 17:15).

“Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give grace to them that hear” (Ephesians 4:29).

“Let us follow after things which make for peace and things whereby we may edify one another” (Romans 14:19).

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in network of silver. As an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear” (Proverbs 25:11-12).

“The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver…. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverseness” (Proverbs 10:20,32).

“A man has joy in the answer of his mouth, and a word in due season, how good it is!” (Proverbs 15:23)

“The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked” (Proverbs 10:11).

“A grievous word stirs up anger…the mouth of fools pours forth folly” (Proverbs 15:1,2).

Do You Gossip or Publicly Discredit People?

“You shall not go up and down as a talebearer among your people” (Leviticus 19:16).

“Who shall dwell with Jehovah?… He who slanders not with his tongue…nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor” (Psalm 15:3).

“And withal they learn also to be idle, going about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not” (1 Timothy 5:13).

“He who utters a slander is a fool” (Proverbs 10:18).

“The mouth of the wicked and the mouth of deceit have they opened against me…. They have compassed me about also with words of hatred and fought against me without a cause” (Psalm 109:2,3).

“Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking guile” (Psalm 34:13; 1 Peter 3:10).

“Let all bitterness…clamor and railing be put away from you, with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31).

“Put them in mind…to speak evil of no man, not to be contentious, to be gentle, showing all gentleness toward all men” (Titus 3:1-2).

[Whisperers and backbiters are condemned: Psalm 101:5; Romans 1:29,30; 2 Corinthians 12:20] “The north wind drives away rain, so does an angry countenance a backbiting tongue” (Proverbs 25:23).

Do You Publicly Criticize People Before First Speaking with Them and Seeking Their Restoration?

“He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him…. He who pleads his cause first seems just, but his neighbor comes and searches him out” (Proverbs 18:13, 17).

“Go not hastily to strive, lest you know not what to do in the end thereof, when your neighbor has put you to shame. Debate your cause with your neighbor himself, and disclose not the secret of another, lest he who hears it revile thee and your infamy turn not away” (Proverbs 25:8-10).

“Brethren, even if a man be overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness…. Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:1-2).

“My brethren, if any among you err from the truth and one convert him, let him know that he who converts a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death and shall cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20).

“Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give grace to them who hear” (Ephesians 4:29; cf. Romans 14:19).

“And if your brother sins against you, go, show him his fault between you and him alone; if he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not hear you, take with you one or two more, that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he refuses to hear them, tell it unto the church” (Matthew 18:15-17).

Do You Speak with Sensitivity, the Way You Would Have Others Speak of You?

[See preceding passages about kindness, humility, and gentleness: for instance, 1 Peter 3:8; Ephesians 4:32; Titus 3:2; Romans 12:10]

“If there is therefore any exhortation in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassions, make full my joy that you be of the same mind, having the same love, being of one accord” (Philippians 2:1-2).

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 19:19; Romans 13:9).

“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:14).

“All things therefore whatsoever you would that men should do unto you, even so do also unto them, for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12).

Do You Exemplify the Very Things for Which You Criticize Others?

” Judge not that you be not judged. For by the same standard you judge, you shall be judged; and with the measure you mete it out, it shall be meted out to you…. You hypocrite, first cast out the beam in your own eye, and then you shall see clearly to cast out the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:1-5).

“Therefore you are without excuse, O man, whosoever you are who judges. For in that very thing you judge another, you condemn yourself, for you who who judges practices the same things” (Romans 2:1).

Do Your Words about Others Amount to Humiliation or Mockery?

” With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor” (Proverbs 11:9).

“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness therein is a breaking of the spirit” (Proverbs 15:4).

“But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you not be consumed of one another” (Galatians 5:15).

[Examples of the sin of mockery: Genesis 21:9 with Galatians 4:29; Psalm 35:16, 21; Matthew 27:24]

[The opposite of humiliating words is commended: Proverbs 16:21, 24; 27:9, and preceding passages about kindness, sensitivity, etc.]

Do You Later Try to Evade Responsibility for Your Words

“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks…. And I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment; for by your words you shall be justified and by your words you shall be condemned” (Matthew 12:34b, 36-37).

“As a madman who casts firebrands and deadly arrows, so is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, ‘I was only kidding’” (Proverbs 26:18-19).

“He who covers his transgressions shall not prosper, but whoso confesses and forsakes them shall obtain mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

“Yet you say ‘I am innocent….’ Surely I will enter into judgment with you because you say ‘I have not sinned’” (Jeremiah 2:35).

[Examples of attempting to evade responsibility and making excuses: Proverbs 30:20; Genesis 3:12-13; 4:9; Matthew 27:24; Luke 14:18]

Are You Always Careful to Tell the Truth When You Speak?

“A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow” (Proverbs 25:18).

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16; Deuteronomy 5:20; Matthew 19:18).

“For out of the heart come forth evil thoughts…false witness, railings: these are the things which defile the man” (Matthew 15:19-20).

“You shall not take up a false report; put not your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness” (Exodus 23:1).

“You shall not…lie one to another” (Leviticus 19:11).

“Wherefore, putting away falsehood, speak the truth each one with his neighbor, for we are members one of another” (Ephesians 4:25).

“Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his doings” (Colossians 3:9).

“There are six things which Jehovah hates, yes seven which are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue…a false witness who utters lies” (Proverbs 6:16-19).

“He who utters truth shows forth righteousness, but a false witness deceit…. The lip of truth shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment” (Proverbs 12:17, 19).

“Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause, and deceive not with your lips” (Proverbs 24:28).

“A false witness shall not go unpunished, and he who utters lies shall perish” (Proverbs 19:9; cf. 21:28).

[The mouths of unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers, must be stopped by strong reproof (Titus 1:10-13).

“But for…all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).

Do You Keep the Promises that You Make?

[Who shall dwell with the Lord?] “He who swears to his own hurt and changes not” (Psalm 15:4).

[Among those who stand condemned by God are covenant-breakers (Romans 1:31; 2 Timothy 3:3).

Does Your Mouth Use Coarse Humor or Foolish Jesting?

“But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you as becomes saints: nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, or jesting, which are not befitting (Ephesians 5:3-4).

“Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth” (Ephesians 4:29).

“Put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, railing, shameful speaking out of your mouth” (Colossians 3:8).

“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any virtue, and if there be anything praiseworthy, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

Do You Use Words to Boast or Flatter Yourself?

“The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips and the tongue that speaks proud things” (Psalm 12:3).

“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters” (2 Timothy 3:2).

“Be not wise in your own conceits” (Romans 12:16).

“I hate pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth” (Proverbs 8:13).

“Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought to think” (Romans 12:3).

“Let another praise you and not your own mouth—a stranger and not your own lips” (Proverbs 27:2).

Does Your Conversation Use God’s Name Taken in Vain?

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain (Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 5:11).

“After this manner are you to pray: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name” (Matthew 6:9).

[This requires that we reverence all of God’s titles, attributes, works, etc.:] “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:2).

“O Lord our Lord, how excellent is your name in all the earth” (Psalm 7:1).

“Swear not at all, neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God; nor by earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King; neither by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black” (Matthew 5:34-36).

[It also requires that we profess the name of Christ and praise Him:] “If you shall confess with your mouth Jesus as the Lord, and shall believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved…. Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:9,13).

“No man speaking in the Spirit of God says ‘Jesus is anathema,’ and no man can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ but by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3).

“Through Him, then, let us offer up a sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of lips which make confession to His name” (Hebrews 13:15).

[This entails that all of our speaking must be pleasing to God:] “And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17).

[We must not dishonor our profession of His name by our behavior:] “For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you” (Romans 2:24).

“Let your lifestyle [conduct] be such as becomes the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27).

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5
May

How to Identify Idols of the Heart

   Posted by: jmueller

  1. What do you love?  Hate?
  2. What do you want, desire, crave, lust and wish for?  Whose desires do you obey?
  3. What do you seek, aim for, pursue?  What are your goals and expectations?
  4. What do you fear?  What do you not want?  What do you tend to worry about?
  5. What do you think you need?
  6. Where do you find refuge, safety, comfort, escape, pleasure, and security?
  7. What or who do you trust?
  8. Who must you please?  Whose opinion of you counts?  From whom do you desire approval and fear rejection?  Whose value system do you measure yourself against?  In whose eyes are you living?
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28
Apr

Names and Attributes of God

   Posted by: jmueller

Use the following list of God’s names and attributes to guide your time set apart for Him.  Read the daily description about God and the accompanying passage.  Worship God, focusing on Him and His qualities.

God is Jehovah. The name of independent being – “I AM WHO I AM” – only begins to Jehovah God.  As we consider His greatness, we fall down in fear and awe of this One who possesses all authority.  Exodus 3:13-15

God is infinite. We cannot speak of measure, amount, size, or weight and at the same time be speaking of God, for He is beyond measurement.  God has no beginning, no end, and no limits.  Romans 11:33

God is omnipotent. God has power.  Since God is also infinite, whatever He has must be without limit; therefore, God has limitless power.  Jeremiah 32:17-18, 26-27

God is good. The goodness of God is what disposes Him to be kind, benevolent, and full of good will toward all creation.  Psalm 119:65-72

God is love. God’s love is so great that He gave His only Son to bring us into fellowship with Him.  God’s love not only encompasses the world, but embraces each of us personally and intimately.  1 John 4:7-10

God is Jehovah-jireh. This name means “the God who provides.”  Just as He provided yesterday, He will provide tomorrow.  He grants deliverance from sin, the oil of joy for the ashes of sorrow, and eternal citizenship in His Kingdom.  Genesis 22:9-14

God is Jehovah-shalom. This name means “the God of peace.”  God could never give to others a peace that exceeds understanding if He Himself were not perfect, unfailing peace.  Judges 6:16-24

God is immutable. All that God is, He has always been.  All that He has been and is, He will ever be.  He cannot change because He is perfect and will remain perfect.  Psalm 102:25-28

God is transcendent. We must not think of God as highest in an order of beings.  This would be to grant Him eminence, even pre-eminence, but this is not enough.  He is transcendent – existing beyond the created universe.  Psalm 113:4-5

God is just. God rules with absolute justice.  Not fooled by appearances, Gos is fair, equitable, and impartial in all of His judgments.  Psalm 75:1-7

God is holy. God’s holiness is not simply the best we know made infinitely better.  God is absolutely untainted.  His holiness stands apart – unique and incomprehensible.  Revelation 4:8-11

God is self-sufficient. He is the One who contains all, who gives all that is given, buut who Himself can receive nothing that He has not first given.  Acts 17:24-28

God is omniscient. God knows all that can be known.  His knowledge includes every possible thing that exists, has ever existed, or will ever exist.  Psalm 139:1-6

God is omnipresent. God is everywhere – close to everything, next to everyone.  “‘Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ declares the Lord.”  Psalm 139:7-12

God is merciful. God’s compassion is infinite and inexhaustible.  In the mercy of His provision in Christ, He took upon himself the judgment that was due us.  He waits and works now for all people everywhere to turn to Him, not wanting any to be lost.  Deuteronomy 4:29-31

God is sovereign. God is in control of our lives.  His sovereignty is the attribute by which He rules His entire creation.  To be sovereign, God must be all-knowing and all-powerful.  1 Chronicles 29:11-13

God is wise. All God’s acts are done in infinite wisdom.  He always acts for our good, which is to conform us to Christ.  Our good and His glory are inextricably bound together.  Proverbs 3:19-20

God is faithful. Our hope for the future rests upon God’s faithfulness.  Because He is faithful, His covenants will stand and His promises will be honored.  Psalm 89:1-8

God is our Comforter. Jesus called the Holy Spirit the “Comforter”.  Paul writes that the Lord is “the God of all comfort”.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4

God is El-Shaddai. This name means “God Almighty”.  It is best understood as God who is all-sufficient and all-bountiful – the source of all blessings, fullness, and faithfulness.  Genesis 49:22-26

God is our intercessor. Knowing our temptations, God the Son intercedes for us.  He opens doors for us to boldly ask Him for mercy.  Thus, God is both the starting point and ending point of true prayer.  Hebrews 4:14-16

God is Adonai. This name means “Master” or “Lord”.  God as Adonai calls all God’s people to acknowledge themselves as His servants, recognizing His right to command them as the Lord of their lives.  2 Samuel 7:18-20

God is Elohim. This name means “Strength” or “Power”.  He is transcendent, mighty, and strong.  Elohim is the great name of God, signifying supreme power, sovereignty, and a covenant relationship that He is ever faithful to keep.  Genesis 17:7-8

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