Archive for December, 2012

We must obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29

As of January 1, Hobby Lobby will be fined $1.3 million per day for not complying with the president’s hobbycontraception mandate. Hobby Lobby will defy the federal government, while standing upon their religious beliefs and face huge financial loss as a result.

Hobby Lobby is owned by the Green family, who are Christians. The Greens operate their business in accordance with their faith and their mission statement reads as follows:

Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company…consistent with Biblical principles. 

What Can YOU do?

First we must pray for the Green family. They stand to lose everything, but at the same time they stand to face an eternal reward for their faithfulness. Pray for their boldness, steadfastness, and God’s peace that surpasses understanding. This event is bigger than the Greens, Hobby Lobby, or the federal government. God WILL get His glory here!


On this Saturday, January 5th, 2013 go to you local Hobby Lobby and buy something. Let the Greens and the federal government know you stand with those at Hobby Lobby as they stand for Christ Jesus! It’s not about the money, it’s about encouraging our brothers and sisters in Christ as they stand for Christ.


Share this link on Facebook,Twitter, and other social media! In Christian LOVE, we can make a difference. You can do that by clicking those links at the bottom of this page.

Click HERE to find a Hobby Lobby near you!

And Here’s a Coupon! 

Print it out to use on January 5th!



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Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Jude 21-23


I suspect that somebody reading this blog right now needs the hell scared out of them. That is to say that they either do not believe in hell or they do not fully understand what hell is or why hell is. As a result of this misunderstanding, they either do not believe in Jesus Christ, they’re unlearned Christians, or their faith in Christ Jesus is nominal. I remember having a similar discussion with my mom, before she died a few years ago. She mom sonbelieved in Jesus Christ, but she did not believe in a literal hell.

“Mom,” I began, “do you believe Jesus is both your Lord and your Savior?”

“Yes,” she answered.

I continued, “Mom, if there’s no hell, from what were you saved?”

She went on to say that she could not fathom a loving God sending people to hell. I explained God doesn’t send people to hell; they essentially send themselves when they reject Jesus. We all sin and sin causes separation from God. The Law that our righteous and just God established requires that all sin (and all sinners) be dealt with. As a solution, our loving God sent Jesus. He suffered and carried all our iniquities to the grave. If hell is nonexistent, then God caused His Son to suffer for nothing and it would further indicate that He is a liar.

God does not and cannot lie.

Since these accounts and the descriptions of hell come directly from the Bible, followers of Jesus must believe them. We cannot accept the niceties of Holy Scripture and reject the adverse. To do this is to rewrite the Bible, thus fabricating God into an image that pleases us. Any god we create is a false god.

Satan and his minions rebelled against God and God created hell for them — not for us. It stands to reason that those who reject the presence of Jesus Christ in this life will not be in His presence in the eternal life. Since Heaven and hell are the only choices, hell is the place where God’s presence is not. Believing hell doesn’t exist or believing in Heaven only, does not make hell go away.

What Else Does the Bible Say About Hell?

God has much to say on this issue because He wants you to make an informed decision. After reading about Heaven and hell, it could rightly be assumed that a wise person would desire to be in the better place. If God left us uninformed, He would qualify as a mean God, but God is both good and loving, for He told us all we need to know biband then provided His Son Jesus as the means by which we can arrive at our destination. Don’t be annoyed that God only gave us two choices, but be grateful that He gave us any choice at all and kept it simple at the same time.

Here is what the Bible records. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s enough to give you the overall picture. If you are one that does not believe in hell, then you should take your time to pour over each passage; you owe it to yourself to be informed. First pray that the Holy Spirit will give you understanding (1 Corinthians 2:14), lest it all seem foolishness to you.

  1. You will make them as a fiery oven in the time of your anger; The LORD will swallow them up in His wrath, And fire will devour them. (Psalm 21:9)
  2. For behold, the LORD will come in fire And His chariots like the whirlwind, To render His anger with fury, And His rebuke with flames of fire. (Isaiah 66:15)
  3. For the LORD will execute judgment by fire And by His sword on all flesh, And those slain by the LORD will be many. (Isaiah 66:16)
  4. “And His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Matthew 3:12)
  5. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 7:19)
  6. “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:41-42)
  7. “So it will be at the end of the age; the angels shall come forth, and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:49-50)
  8. “And if your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the eternal fire. (Matthew 18:8)
  9. “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; (Matthew 25:41)
  10. Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example, in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 1:7)
  11. he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:10-11)
  12. And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. (Revelation 19:20)
  13. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)
  14. And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:14-15)
  15. for I have five brothers– that he may warn them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ (Luke 16:28)
  16. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
  17. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
  18. “And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom. “And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue; for I am in agony in this flame.’ (Luke 16:23-24)
  19. “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. (Matthew 7:13)
  20. For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. (Philippians 3:18-19)
  21. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, (2 Thessalonians 1:9)
  22. Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
  23. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)
  24. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. (John 5:24)

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But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:14-15

Do children, babies, and the unborn go to Heaven when they die?

babyI am convinced, by the word of God, that they do, while simultaneously cognizant of God’s all-knowing attributes and how that plays into the picture. There are some Bible truths we all should know. First, Psalm 9:8 tells us that God will judge the world and He shall administer judgment to all with equity. In other words, this applies to everybody, but God is fair and He will take their unique circumstances into account. Babies are born sinful, but God recognizes their innocence at the same time. God acknowledges this truth in Jeremiah 19:4-5 and in Deuteronomy 1:39.

Moreover your little ones and your children, who you say will be victims, who today have no knowledge of good and evil, they shall go in there; to them I will give it, and they shall possess it. 

In today’s vernacular, we would say that these children have not yet reached the age of accountability. Yes, they might understand that’s it’s wrong to hit another child (for example), but they don’t fully comprehend the notion of sin and how it defiles a relationship with God the Father. Because of this distinction, children are considered by God to be His children. Ezekiel 16:20-21Matthew 18:2-3, and Matthew 19:13-14 bear witness to this also. Because they are His children, they go to Heaven if they die prematurely. In 2 Samuel 12, we see it again confirmed as King David reminds us that he would once again see his son in Heaven. Amazingly, God has found a way to put Jesus into our children!

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

Our children have found favor with God!

Does that sound familiar? It should. It reminds me of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

maryLike Mary, somehow, someway, God has manifested Himself inside our little ones as well. Just as Mary was safe and protected as Jesus grew inside her, so are our children. Miraculously, our kids have Jesus within and He abides with them until they are old enough to understand that they should also abide with Him. If tragedy should strike before they mature, believers have the assurance that these kids will be instantaneously ushered into the Father’s presence. Praise be to God!

But what occurs to our grown children after they reach their age of accountability? As strange as it sounds, what happens if they don’t die young?

He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. Revelation 3:5

That verse should give every Christian parent a shiver. First, the passage confirms what we have already established: all the names of our children are written in the Book of Life; if they should die at a tender age, they go to Heaven. However, it also carries a stern admonishment — that these very same names can be blotted out. Their names will be removed if they do not overcome.

Overcome what? 

Well for one thing, child-birth! That is to say, re-birth. If they do not give birth to that which has been growing inside of them, their names will be removed from the Heavenly roll call. Nobody knows when this age of innocence is over, because it’s different for each person. They are born again by faith as the Holy Spirit gives breath to faith and our jobs as parents is to see that Christ grows in them prior to that event.

Imagine for a moment that you were the mother or father of Mary. Surely you would have done all that you could to ensure her the safe delivery of her baby. We must do the same for our children! Make no mistake about it! All children, like Mary have found favor with God. They have within them Christ Jesus and they must by faith bring forth this Son of God.

Parents, we have been given a great assignment!

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Here is the reality — If we entrust our children to the world, the world will do all within their power to convince them to abort Jesus. It sounds ugly because it is ugly. God instructs us to train up our kids because once they are old enough to know right from wrong, they must choose to follow Jesus for themselves. Our duty is to take this responsibility seriously. We must train our children in the Way, as if their faith in Christ Jesus were in Olympic event!

Do you send your child to Sunday school?

That’s not enough. If that’s all you do, then you’re entrusting your child’s eternal future to what they glean in 30 minutes, once a week. If you were training your child for the Decathlon, would having him run around the block a few minutes, once a week be sufficient?  Training our children is a huge responsibility and it’s a full-time job. Having your child pray before dinner is not enough either; nor is having them learn a memory verse now and them. The reality is if we want a child to be saved, we must train that child, so when the time comes, they will not depart from what they’ve been taught. If most of their time is spent in public school, in front of the TV or computer, and consuming junk food, what should we expect. If we let our children do this, then we run the great risk of our children rejecting Jesus and being damned to hell.

I submit to you, that if you truly know the fear of the Lord, you will not allow this to happen

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9

But my children are grown now!

Then pick up where you left off. Pray for them consistently and continually. Ask the Lord for open doors towards training opportunities.  Pray. Confess to them how you sinned and ask for their forgiveness. There is hope. My parents, who I love and adore, did not train me up in the way, but God sent others. God will send others to your children as well. Pray. Pray. Pray.

I have 3 children; two boys and a girl. I did not take seriously the training of my first 2 children (twins) until they were about 11 years old. Honestly, I did not know the fear of the Lord. As a result, as young adults, they are not where they should be, spiritually speaking. I have not given up because God has not given up. In contrast, I started with my youngest before she was born, and although my training techniques are not perfect, I have been consistent. She has made her decision to follow Jesus and is moving strongly forward along the path.

Bottom line: the younger they are, the easier it is.

I cannot get a do-ever with the boys. I’ve confessed my sin and am doing all that I can now to make up ground, trusting in the Lord to restore what the locusts have taken away. And there is one other thing I can do — I can warn you. If you are not training your child properly, begin now and do whatever it takes. Eternity is at hand.

These articles may or may not relate:

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“She did not consider her destiny; Therefore her collapse was awesome; She had no comforter. “O Lord, behold my affliction, For the enemy is exalted!” Lamentation 1:9

Simple Math Made Hard

truthWhat would happen if a person went searching for the truth; lets say for example, the answer to 1 + 1, but before they started out on this quest, they removed one of the possible answers? In other words, they would consider all the infinite possibilities, except one of them; the number 2. Surely, they believe, that removing only one of a gazillion choices will have no effect upon the outcome.

That person would never discover the truth, would they.

Therein lies the difference between a wise seeker and a foolish one. The wise man leaves all the possible answers on the table, while the fool keeps on the table only the ones he likes. The wise exhibits sincerity, the fool his prejudice, therefore only the wise finds what he is looking for.

So it is with God.
He knows beforehand who has considered Him and who has not. As a result He rewards the sincerity of the wise man with the truth, but the fool He cannot, lest the fool give honor to the wrong thing or worse, himself. In this regard, there is only One right answer.
“The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” Psalm 14:1

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Then he charged them and said to them: “I am to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite as a possession for a burial place. There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife, there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah. Genesis 50:29-31
I’ve been tricked!

Looking back these many years of marriage I can recall a time when my wife may have likely uttered that very phrase, tricked“I’ve been tricked!” I am ashamed to say that there was a period of time I was not behaving as the Christian man she had met and married. By the grace of God she rode-out the calamity when honestly nobody would have faulted her if she chosen to dump me. I suspect her rage and despair was similar to that of Jacob’s when on his wedding night, his father-in-law switched his beloved and beautiful fiance, Rachel with her less-than attractive sister Leah.

Where’s Rachel?

The story from Genesis is a peculiar one. We know from previous accounts that initially, Jacob loved and adored Rachel —so why is he requesting to be buried next to (gulp) Leah? Well, we don’t know for certain, but I would suggest that something happened in those years with Leah that changed his mind and his heart regarding their relationship; something that was ordained and orchestrated by God.

Rachel was beautiful to behold, and why Jacob was originally drawn to her, but the reality was that God allowed Leah to become his first wife. Through the years, while Rachel had come to display some unflattering qualities, Leah’s inner beauty began to shine forth. In time Leah would bring Jacob his first son, Rueben and afterwards, Judah. God would later reveal to Jacob Judah’s exclusive ancestry regarding the Messiah. His love for Leah grew as God’s plan unfolded. What a tragedy it would have been if Jacob had shunned or discretely dismissed Leah.

God Has a Plan

Jacob was deceived and some would say he had every right to be angry and bitter, but he chose to maintain the course God had laid out before him. Similarly (and all praise be to God) my wife chose to stay the course, despite the reality of my then destructive behavior. In due season, by faith, and by God’s unlimited mercy and grace, these circumstances were resolved; as God redeemed me, He also redeemed our marriage. The reality of your situation might very well be that you married the wrong one, at least in your eyes. However, the divine truth of the matter is that once we say, “I do,” God ordains the relationship, and a vow is still a vow. Whether or not you were duped [like my wife] or now realize your nuptials were in error, that awareness is irrelevant to God.

You’re In the Boat Now

Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” Luke 8:22-25

This story exposes a grand and magnificent promise: If Jesus says that we are crossing over to the side, guess what? We are crossing over to the other side; case closed. Once we have committed our relationships, by oath, before the Lord, we have in effect gotten into a boat whose destination is assured. The only way this journey will not succeed is if we ignore the Captain and jump ship. In Christ Jesus, every marriage can endure and find safe harbor.

But I’ve already jumped ship!

It’s all good if you’re all in for Christ. Praise be to God, it’s water under the bridge. In Christ Jesus, we are free of the bonds of our sinful past and free to walk in the will of God. Do not lament, but rejoice! Everything that occurs to the Christian is a blessing from God or a lesson from God. Glean from both and move forward; receive as yours His peace that surpasses all understanding. Could you have done something different? Could you have chosen more wisely? Yes, we know the answer is yes, but Jesus doesn’t want us to carry that burden; He took that load to the cross before we were born! To His glory, the only thing we need to take away from the past is a stronger faith in our Redeemer.

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1

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We groan…

“Attend to us, and hear us; we are restless in our complaint, and moan noisily, Because of the voice of the enemy, Because of the oppression of the wicked; For they bring down trouble upon us, And in wrath they hate us. Our hearts are severely pained within us, And the terrors of death have fallen upon us. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon us, And horror has overwhelmed us. So we said, “Oh, that we had wings like a dove! we would fly away and be at rest.”

And we atone…

“We will call upon God, And the Lord shall save us. Evening and morning and at noon we will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear our voice. He has redeemed our souls in peace from the battle that was against us, For there were many…God will hear, and afflict them, Even He who abides from of old…We cast our burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain us; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”

And at the end of the day, we have grown.

“We will trust in You.”

(a Psalm 55 remix)

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Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

I stole borrowed this little quiz because it’s good. I guarantee that if you take this test, you will be the smartest person at the church Christmas party (that is to say if you’re willing to glean from your mistakes). David Langerfeld, an associate pastor at Harrisburg Baptist Church in Tupelo, gives this Christmas IQ test to his Sunday School class — I do not know if he developed it or stole it borrowed it from someone else. Try not peek at the answers (below and to the right) of each question.

1. Joseph was originally from… (Luke 2:3)

A. Bethlehem
B. Nazareth
C. Hebron
D. Jerusalem
E. None of the above

1. A. He worked and lived in Nazareth, but he was returning to Bethlehem  

2. What does the innkeeper say to Mary and Joseph? (Luke 2:7)

A. “There is no room in the inn.”
B. “I have a stable you can use.”
C. “Come back later and I should have some vacancies.”
D. Both A and B
E. None of the above

2. E. The innkeeper didn’t say anything. The Bible makes no mention of an innkeeper.

3. A manger is a…

A. Stable for domestic animals
B. Wooden hay storage bin
C. Feeding trough
D. Barn

3. C. Feeding trough

4. Which animals does the Bible say were present at Jesus’ birth?

A. Cows, sheep, goats
B. Cows, donkeys, goats
C. Sheep and goats only
D. Miscellaneous barnyard animals
E. None of the above

4. E. The Bible doesn’t say. The Bible also makes no mention of a barn or stable, just the manger

5. Who saw the star in the east?

A. Shepherds
B. Mary and Joseph
C. Three kings
D. Both A and C
E. None of the above

5. E. The magi saw the star. The wise men would later follow it..

6. According to the Bible, how did Mary and Joseph get to Bethlehem?

A. Camel
B. Donkey
C. Walked
D. Joseph walked, Mary rode a donkey
E. Horse-drawn chariot
F. Who knows?

6. F. The Bible doesn’t say

7. How many angels spoke to the shepherds? (Luke 2:10)

A. One
B. Three
C. Multitude
D. None of the above

7. A. 

8. What did the angels say/sing? (Luke 2:14)

A. “Glory to God in the highest, etc.”
B. “Alleluia”
C. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given”
D. “Joy the world, the Lord is come”
E. “Glory to the newborn King”

8. A.

9. What is a heavenly host?

A. The angel at the gate of heaven
B. The angel who serves refreshments in heaven
C. An angel choir
D. An angel army
E. None of the above

9. D. The word means army – literally thousands.

10. There was snow that first Christmas…

A. Only in Bethlehem
B. All over Israel
C. Nowhere in Israel
D. Somewhere in Israel

10. D. Mt. Hermon typically has snow on it.

11. What is frankincense?

A. A precious metal
B. A precious fabric
C. A precious perfume
D. None of the above

11. C.

12. In Matthew, what does “wise men” or “Magi” refer to?

A. Men of the educated class
B. Eastern kings
C. Men who studied the stars
D. Sages

12. C. The word Magi literally means star-gazers

13. What is myrrh? 

 A. Middle Eastern money
B. A drink
C. An easily shaped metal
D. A spice used for burying people
E. None of the above

13. D.

14. How many wise men came to see Jesus?  

A. 3
B. 6
C. 9
D. 12
E. We don’t know.

14. E. We don’t know. 

15. Where did the wise men find Jesus? (Matthew 2:11)

A. In a manger
B. In a stable
C. In Nazareth
D. In Saudi Arabia
E. In a house
F. None of the above

15. E. 

16. When the wise men found Jesus he was… (Matthew 2:11)

A. A babe wrapped in swaddling clothes
B. A young child
C. A boy in the temple
D. A grown man

16. B. He was probably somewhere between 12-24 months old.

17. The “star in the east” that the wise men followed… (Matthew 2:9)

A. Stayed in the same place their entire journey
B. Disappeared and reappeared
C. Moved ahead of them and stopped over the place where Jesus was
D. Was just a mirage
E. None of the above

17. C. 

18. The wise men stopped in Jerusalem… (Matthew 2:2)

A. To inform Herod about Jesus
B. To find out where Jesus was
C. To ask about the star
D. To buy presents
E. None of the above

18. B.

19. Where do we find the Christmas story?

A. Matthew
B. Mark
C. Luke
D. John
E. All of the above
F. Only A and B
G. Only A and C
H. Only A, B and C

19. G.

20. When Joseph found Mary was pregnant, what happened?

A. They got married
B. Joseph wanted to break the engagement
C. Mary left town for three months
D. A and B
E. B and C

20. E.

21. Who told (made) Mary and Joseph go to Bethlehem? (Luke 2:1-5)

A. The angel chorus
B. Mary’s mother
C. Herod
D. The shepherds
E. Caesar Augustus

21. E.

How did you do?

That’s ok, I didn’t do that well either. But look at the bright side, now we know! Of course that raises the issue, “Are these answers correct?” While some of these questions do have tricky answers (like the ‘snow’ on Mt. Hermon one), you may not agree with the answer provided. That’s cool. Just leave a comment below containing what you believe the correct answer to be along with supporting scripture.  Oh yeah, and Merry Christmas!


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“Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” (2 Peter 1:5-7)

Faith That is Seen

ladderIf faith stands alone, it is entirely invisible. If I say, “I believe this ladder will support my weight,” but then don’t ever climb it, my faith is veiled by my own dormancy. The reality is that someone else will have to come along and scale the ladder in order to prove its worth. At this juncture the amount of faith I possess is of no consequence if I fail to act upon its smallest portion. Neutral or idle faith is transparent and serves no purpose.

Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:17)

The Apostle Peter is essentially saying the same thing as James, therefore we can conclude that invisible faith and dead faith are the same beast to be avoided. Those who exhibit invisible or dead faith are in fact obstacles towards both personal sanctification and societital evangelism. To that end, James would later proclaim in his epistle…

You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. (James 2:24)

Adding to Faith

My mom was clever. She tied a ribbon atop her antenna so she could easily spot her car as she exited the grocery store. My wife does a similar thing with our luggage. Since by itself there’s not much to distinguish it from the other baggage, she ties colorful ribbons to the handles. Peter is asserting that if we want others to see our faith (and we should), we need to apply something more than *bumper stickers, t-shirts, or refrigerator magnets.

Peter counsels us to add to our faith:

  1. Virtue: the practice of moral duties and the abstaining from sin. Virtue also lends itself to strength, valor, and bravery.
  2. Knowledge: a clear and certain perception of truth and facts. The lighting of the mind that aids discernment.
  3. Temperance: a habitual moderation in regard to the indulgence of the natural appetites and passions of our flesh. Simply put: self-control.
  4. Patience: to persevere through afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, with a calm, unruffled temper, without murmuring or complaining.
  5. Godliness: a purposeful and obedient observance of the laws of God and performance of religious duties, in love and reverence for our Father in Heaven.
  6. Kindness: the attitude and disposition of good will exercised cheerfully; that which delights in contributing to the happiness or basic needs of others.
  7. Charity: that disposition of the heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men. In a general sense, love.

These items should look vaguely familiar to us, for at least in part, they comprise the fruit of the Holy Spirit listed in Paul’s letter to the Galatians (Galatians 5:22-23). It’s beneficial for us to meditate on the Galatians text in conjunction with Peter’s letter, for in so doing we learn that these attributes are given by the Holy Spirit and received by the faithful, not contrived in our minds or achieved in our flesh. Working at these traits in our own strength is an act of futility that will only serve to make us weary and discouraged.

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. (Galatians 5:16-17)

Can your faith be seen?

Is there evidence to support your faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? If not, first make sure you are on the feetnarrow path, and if so, make sure you are walking forward. In order to exercise your faith, there must be some degree of movement. Remember it’s okay (and even recommended) that your first step be upon your knees.

By the power of the Holy Spirit, your walk can begin today! If you’re not sure where to start, leave a comment and I’d be blessed to share with you.

(*Bumper stickers, t-shirts, and refrigerator magnets are wonderful things. I employ all three!)

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