Encourage others through our life experiences…

There is always two layers to our story; what we see and what God is doing

It’s the pain that saves our life

God loves us too much to take away our pain, but at any other time, but the right time, and by any other way than the right way

Even if I cannot see God, He is working

When there is nothing left in the tank, our heart begins to open up, to God and others

Trust God’s timing

We have seen God work in the past,
so why cannot we trust Him now

Gen 50:20

Romans 8:28

We have been wounded, but we need to have the courage to keep going, because God is working

Temptation, deception, accusation

Disappointments lead the enemy to temp us

Stare at the temptation and we will be deceived

The accuser will tell us we will never be good enough so we will not have a testimony

Listen to those that pray for you, and keep them close. There will always be dissenters

Let our story unfold and look for the Hand of God in it

Go slow and let God work

It’s hard to plan for the future when the day is not settled

Trust is built with time and believable behavior

God won’t scold for asking why, but we need to ask what?

We will never understand the why, but we will find our answers in others testimony

Our God is good at being God, give it to Him

We don’t have to carry the weight, Let those that Love us, help us

Help others find hope in their story…

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Why We Must Remember to Rejoice in Discouraging Times

Why We Must Remember to Rejoice in Discouraging Times

August 25, 2020

As a Christian it’s easy to become discouraged by the world around us. While most Americans still claim a Christian identity, wouldn’t know it based on media reports. The press rarely mentions the existence of Christians, and when Christians are described or cited, it is typically in less than flattering terms.

For most of my young life, it seemed that Christians were viewed apathetically by the culture at large. Many seemed to think of Christians as harmless relics of a bygone age: weird, stuffy, but mostly forgettable. It used to upset me that Christianity was downplayed or marginalized by many in our society. Now, I almost nostalgically long for those times.

Christianity is increasingly treated with disdain in popular culture and the media. Christians are sometimes viewed as a menace, actively hurting society through an archaic, oppressive – even evil – belief system. Christianity, or at least the beliefs and principles it espouses, is now sometimes considered to be at the root of societal ills.

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“Concessions of Compromise”

3) OUT OF GRATEFUL OBEDIENCE TO GOD, WE MUST NEVER DO THINGS THAT ARE CULTURALLY ACCEPTED BUT ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN BY HIS WORD.

We live in a day when many who profess to be Christians are ignorant of God’s holy standards for His people. I have met college students who say that they know Christ, but who do not feel that it is wrong to have sex outside of marriage. Divorce has become so widespread, even in evangelical circles that many professing Christians walk away from their marriages as if divorce were just an unfortunate event, rather than a grievous sin. God’s moral standards do not change over time or from culture to culture. We must not be so influenced by our culture that we violate God’s holy standards. This leads to the final section of our text:

  1. Our authoritative guide for all faith and practice is God’s Word, which should be taught and learned (15:30-35).

Judas and Silas, who accompanied Paul and Barnabas back to Antioch, “strengthened the brethren with a lengthy message.” I like that! And Luke reports that Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, “teaching and preaching, with many others also, the word of the Lord.” In Acts 11:26, we saw how these men “for an entire year met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.”

We often forget that the Great Commission is not just evangelism. That’s the first part of it; but the Great Commission also requires “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:20). Churches today are starved because pastors are expected to do all sorts of things, with teaching and preaching God’s Word low on the list. It should be at the top.

Also, the church has always been plagued with false teachers like these Judaizers, whose words unsettled the souls of the saints (15:24). The Greek word “unsettled” occurs only here in the New Testament. It was used outside the Bible to refer to going bankrupt or to a military force plundering a town (James Moulton & George Milligan, The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament [Eerdmans], p. 37). Paul later warned the Ephesian pastors that from among their ranks, men would arise, “speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:30). So we always need to be growing in our knowledge and application of God’s Word, so that false teachers do not plunder our souls.

 

Conclusion:

During 1977, millions of people lined up at museums across the United States to view the treasures from the tomb of King Tutankhamen of Egypt. It is interesting that Ali Hassan, the curator of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, discovered that some of the jewels in the tomb were not genuine, but were only colored glass. When he was asked how this could go undetected for so many years, Mr. Hassan answered, “We were blinded by the gold. One just assumes that real gold and real gems go hand-in-hand. This is a case where they don’t” (“Our Daily Bread,” Fall, 1978).

Satan mixes truth and error to deceive Christians. He gets us to compromise and unite over doctrines where we should not budge an inch. And, he gets us to fight and divide over issues where we need to concede our rights out of love. We need God’s wisdom and discernment to know essential truth where we must never concede, and to know areas where it is right to concede out of love so as not to offend others

 

Excerpt from a Bible Lesson by Stephen J. Cole
https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-37-when-concession-right-acts-1512-35

 

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“All We Like Sheep”

All we like sheep have gone astray
Here the prophet represents all the elect of God, whether Jews or Gentiles; whom he compares to “sheep”, not for their good qualities, but for their foolishness and stupidity; and particularly for their being subject to go astray from the shepherd, and the fold, and from their good pastures, and who never return of themselves, until they are looked up, and brought back by the shepherd, or owner of them; so the people of God, in a state of nature, are like the silly sheep, they go astray from God, are alienated from

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The Virtues Required of Citizens In a Free Society

The Virtues Required of Citizens In a Free Society

At first it might seem strange to ask what virtues citizens need in a free society. If citizens should be free, should we be concerned that they possess particular virtues? Is it appropriate for government to be concerned about character formation in free society? For the Founders the question was not strange. They thought that preserving freedom through self-governing institutions required that citizens have certain virtues. However, they did not believe that government would be primarily responsible for inculcating those virtues. Government depends on these virtues.

In Federalist No. 55, James Madison says that while “there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust, so there are other qualities in human nature which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence.” America’s republican form of government “presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form” (James Madison, Federalist No. 55, 1788).

While government depended on these virtues, they would primarily develop through private institutions. Government could play some role in encouraging these qualities, particularly through

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The Futility of Running Away (from “A Word with You with Ron Hutchcraft”)

The party had been going just fine until a doctor who was there got very offended by something another guest said. He was in a rage! He stormed

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