Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. Psalm 139:17-18

Do you have any idea how many grains of sand there are in your child’s sandbox or your local beach or the world for that matter? As you can imagine that number must be huge. What’s even more staggering [to me] is that there are people in the world who are driven to determine the answers to these questions!

Anyway, the short answer to the question [how many grains of sand there are in the world] is estimated to be


or 7.5 x 10^18.  Here’s the formula – – – – ->

I Hate Math

My pastor recently shared that if a person lives to be 80 years old, he or she will have lived for 2.5 billion seconds. For the sake of keeping this blog short, I’m going to forgo the ‘reckoning’ and take my pastor’s word for it. When we divide the number of seconds into the number of sand grains we can determine that the thoughts God has towards each of us is 280,200,000 per second.  I think the number is low (very low), but nevertheless it’s a number worth repeating:

God thinks about you 280,000,000 a second

How vast is the sum of His thoughts indeed!

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13

Frankly, I was baffled by what things God could possibly be thinking about, then I recalled the line I had incorporated into my prayers where I thank God for the blessings He provides to me daily — the ones I can plainly see and (perhaps more importantly) the ones I don’t see. Although I can’t prove it, I’m beginning to think that God sees to every single function of my body, every second of every day. God is overseeing every interaction I’m going to have whether it be with the air I breath, the people I meet, or the planet I trod upon. He is healing the pimple I squeezed this morning while simultaneously creating more white blood cells to form new pimples!  He is seeing to each heart beat, every muscle contraction, and each nerve impulse. At 280,000,000 a second it would seem that God leaves nothing whatsoever to chance.

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” “Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?” For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen (Romans 11:33-36)

 And God Multitasks!

Ingeniously, God has woven us all together, so while He has a thought about me, He is also having a thought about people with whom I’ll be interacting in the present or in the future. For example, while in the middle of my Bible study today (in Isaiah), I felt compelled to pause my study and post a Bible verse on Facebook. Later on I was contacted by a grateful brother in the Lord who shared how ‘timely’ the passage was to him and how it was exactly what he needed to hear at the time. Since I now know God thinks about us so many times a second, it’s really not that difficult to understand how He can orchestrate these incredible occurrences.  All praise and thanks be to our God who loves us so much more than we can ever imagine.

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:26

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“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

I confess, I spend a good chunk of time on Facebook. For me, it’s but another mission field and I try to be a good steward of the time and space. So while it’s true that I do socialize on the social network, I always try to bring Jesus Christ into the conversation.

The Indirect Route

A friend (we’ll call him Jim because that’s his name), posted to his profile that he was going to the dentist and he wanted something that was both hopeful and funny to say to his doctor. As a means to bring Jesus into their conversation I suggested he say, “Dr. ______, I thank God that you are my dentist.”

For the humorous part I told him to add, “And I pray you washed your hands.”

Where a remark like that goes is in God’s hands, but it certainly was a leaping off point. It further demonstrates that an indirect remark about faith might lead to a deeper conversation about the focus of our faith. If it dies in the water, so be it, but that’s not really the issue, is it? I believe God is looking for faith-filled, obedience and is less concerned with results.

The Direct Route

This morning, my across-the-street, father and son neighbors, Mario and Pasquale came over to do some spackling and tile work. I greeted them at the door and then left them to do their business. After a few moments, the Lord spoke to my heart.

“Go back and pray with them,” He said.

Ugh.  I didn’t want to. I grumbled a little bit, but then recalled my wife’s prayer earlier in the morning,

…And may Mario and his son feel Your presence in our home this morning.

Suddenly I saw this occasion for the divine appointment it was; I had the opportunity to be an answer to prayer; a tool in the Master’s hand! So I went up to them and asked if I could pray for them. Yes, I sensed some discomfort, but they said yes and His name went forth. Where will it go? I don’t know, but that doesn’t really matter, does it?

The In-Your-Face Route

An old high school friend posted a sign on her FB page that read, “Hurt me with the truth, but never comfort me with a lie.”

Seeing the direct invitation I wrote back, “John 14:6,” the verse where Jesus proclaims,

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

She’s Jewish.

She never responded, but that’s not the point is it?

Our Christian Platform

In the video, Tim Tebow talks to the CBN host about his faith, his platform, and his purpose. He also relates some advice his father had given to him when he was younger.

“Bret Favre can go into any school and share any message he wants… when you’re in that position you can share any message you want.”

The wise counsel was not at all a knock on Bret Favre, but merely an illustration pointing out the significance of our God-given positions. Tim has never forgotten his father’s words and now constantly shares about his Christian faith. He has come to realize that the spotlight he has been given was granted to illuminate Jesus the Christ, not Tim the football player.

I’m no Tim Tebow, but nevertheless, I have a platform and a spotlight. So do you. The stage may not be as big, nor the light as intense, but the magnitude of the message is still the same. The reality is that every single encounter a Christian has is a divine appointment and not one of them should be wasted.

Be Reasonable

Is it reasonable to bring Jesus into every conversation? I submit to you that it is. I would further offer that to the degree a Christian understands their own salvation is to the same degree they will find it a reasonable thing to talk about. Consider these questions:

  • What have you been saved from?
  • What have you been saved for?
  • Who saved you?
  • Who have you told?

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2

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All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

A while back I had the displeasure of reading an opinion article posted on CNN.com (reposted on  Face Book). The editorial was titled Bible has some shocking family values,’ and was penned by Michael Coogan, who CNN informs is a lecturer on Hebrew Bible-Old Testament at Harvard Divinity School, a professor of religious studies at Stonehill College, the director of publications for the Harvard Semitic Museum, and the editor of “The New Oxford Annotated Bible. An impressive pedigree. Sadly, Mr. Coogan had missed the mark with his opinions and in an attempt to avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law (Titus 3:8-10), I will extend an admonition concerning Coogan’s article, issue by issue.

Michael Coogan: “When talking about so-called family values, pastors, popes, and politicians routinely quote the Bible as if it were an unassailable divine authority — after all, they assume, God wrote the Bible, and therefore it is absolutely and literally true. But that is a misconception.”

God: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

God: 1 — Coogan: 0

Michael Coogan: “The Bible itself makes clear, its authors were human beings…(they) wrote over the course of more than a thousand years, and their writings reflect their own views and the values they shared with their contemporaries.”

Me: Referring back to 2 Timothy, the word inspired is theopneustos in the original Greek and literally means ‘God-breathed.’

God: If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 14:37), Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. (Jeremiah 1:9)

God: 2 — Coogan: 0

Michael Coogan: ”So it’s not surprising that inconsistencies are frequent in the Bible.”

Me: There most certainly are inconsistencies in the Bible, however, there are no contradictions. More often what we see are eye-witness accounts from diverse peoples and it is there versions of the events that vary. Much in the same way if Coogan and I attended a party and were later asked about who was in attendance. I might say, “Man, the place was packed out; everybody was there!” while my friend might say, “What a boring party; there was nobody there.” Having been a police officer I can assure you that having inconsistent witnesses is an indication that the combined story is not contrived or rehearsed.

Many have complied lists of supposed contradictions in the Bible and Instead of trying to address each, I stumbled across a website where the host lists 143 of them and offers clear and concise and Biblical explanations for every one. You can visit that site HERE.

Michael Coogan: “Although Jews and Christians, individually and collectively, have for the last 2,000 years accepted the Bible as authoritative in principle, in practice many of its values have been rejected.”

Me: He’s right: many have rejected the Bibles values, but not because of the reason he would have us believe! Here’s the truth:

God: For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man–and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Romans 1:20-25

Me: In other words (we) are blinded by our selfish pursuits. Those who desire to maintain a form of godliness endeavor to establish that their sin is not a sin at all.

God: 3 —  Coogan: 0

Michael Coogan: “On issues such as slavery, no one today would maintain that slavery is acceptable, even though, according to the Bible, it was a divinely sanctioned institution.”

Me: Slavery is not an institution sanctioned by God. It was (and is) a reality and God, in His infinite wisdom and mercy set about to regulate an enduring practice. If slave owners practiced consistently what God had prescribed, slavery could have become an equitable and humane arrangement for the impoverished. It sounds an absurd notion to us, but slavery had the divine potential to become a brilliant redemptive tool for the indigent.

God: If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing. If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master has given him a wife, and she has borne him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. But if the servant plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever. Exodus 21:2-6

God: 4 —  Coogan: 0

Michael Coogan: “In current debates about family values, most of which have to do with sex, opponents of abortion and advocates of a woman’s right to choose both cite the Bible in support of their conflicting views, even though the Bible in fact says nothing specifically about the issue.”

God on Abortion: ‘Cursed is the one who takes a bribe to slay an innocent person. Deuteronomy 27:25a

God on Adultery: You shall not commit adultery. Exodus 20:14

God on Fornication: The body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. Flee sexual immorality! “Every sin a person commits is outside of the body” – but the immoral person sins against his own body. 1 Corinthians 6:17b-18

God on Homosexuality: You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion. Leviticus 18:22-23

Me: Perversion doesn’t change.

God: 8 — Coogan: 0

Michael Coogan: “…Many contemporary believers would argue that, as with slavery and the status of women, it is time to recognize that the values of the biblical writers are no longer necessarily our own.”

Me: The term contemporary believers (in the context with which Coogan employs it) is merely a cipher regarding those who would desire to preserve an appearance of faithfulness while simultaneously maintaining an immoral lifestyle. The reality is that these folks no longer recognize the values of the Bible because they conflict with their aberrant ones.

God: But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 2 Timothy 3:1-5

God: 9 — Coogan: 0

Michael Coogan: “Individual biblical texts should not be appealed to selectively: Such cherry-picking is all too easy because of the nature of the Bible as a multi-authored book.”

Me: I agree…and so does God; which is why we need to accept God at His word.

Michael Coogan: “What did its words mean when they were written…Only in this sense can the Bible be considered to have timeless relevance that transcends the historical particularities of its authors.”

Me: Nonsense. Godly values do not change. They can’t.

God: For I am the Lord, I do not change (Malachi 3:6a), God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (Numbers 23:19), Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (James 1:17)

God: 10 — Coogan: 0

Michael Coogan: (regarding our moral freedom) “Whatever you wish people to do to you, so you should do to them: for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Jesus in Matthew 7:12)

Me: I’m actually appalled that an alleged biblical scholar would take these words of Christ to falsely affirm that Christians can do whatever they please. That’s ridiculous and entirely out of context. Coogan, you should be ashamed of yourself. Sensing our tendency to loop-hole our way through life, it doesn’t surprise me that the very next words out of our Lord’s mouth were these:

God: Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:13-14

God: 11 — Coogan: 0

Michael Coogan: “I suggest, the essence of the Bible — its ultimate authority — is not in its individual pronouncements, but in its underlying message: equal, even loving, treatment of all persons, regardless of their age, gender, socio-economic status, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.”

Me: The essence of the Bible Mr. Coogan is salvation through Jesus Christ and the underlying message is love. The fact is that the Lord places a greater significance upon the lost and therefore, so should I. It might be a stretch to put it this way, but God thinks less of me than those who lifestyles He and I oppose. Why? Because He desires to save them, and well, I’m already saved. God‘s love abounds towards everyone and He blesses the saved and the unsaved, but make no mistake about it, God does not approve of sin and never will.

God: Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55:6-7

God: 12 — Coogan: 0

Me: Mr. Coogan. Assuming that we both get to Heaven, one of two things might occur. God is either go to say to me, “Dave, I cannot believe that you believed everything that was written in the Bibles,” or He is going to say to you, “Michael, I cannot believe that you didn’t believe everything that was written in the Bible.” Frankly, I’d very much prefer to hear the first remark over the latter.

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If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them, then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce…you shall eat your bread to the full…I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none will make you afraid…your enemies shall fall by the sword before you…I will look on you favorably and make you fruitful, multiply you and confirm My covenant with you…You shall eat the old harvest, and clear out the old because of the new…I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people. Leviticus 26:3-10Enormous Promise

“If, ” God says, we walk in His ways, retain and execute His commandments, He will supply provision, spiritual richness, serenity, authority, and most of all His presence. This is a promise from our Lord based not on our performance, but our determination—God alone knows the heart.

Read the Leviticus passage again. Are you suffering in any of these areas? The solution is simple—determine in your heart to walk in all His ways. Failure is not determined by how often we stumble; the reality is that stumbling is a distinctive of the believer’s tenacity. No, failure comes with disobedience; when we falsely believe there is another way to achieve that which God desires to provide by His grace and mercy. What does failure look like? Read the following passage:

But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you. ’And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze. And your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield its produce, nor shall the trees of the land yield their fruit. ’Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins. Leviticus 26:14-21

Why So Brutal?

Do these things seem brutal to you? For many it seems God has gone way over the top for those who choose to disobey Him. That’s not how I see it. I see a God who loves us so very much; He has made it vividly clear—as far as the east is from the west, as different black is from white, God has made the choice an obvious one. Plainly said, “You can’t blame the label maker when you choose to sip the poison.”

A Liberal Return Policy

What you have to love about our God is that He keeps the door open for a very long time. He will allow us to walk in disobedience for years and years, and then use those consequences we’ve endured as the very road signs pointing us towards salvation in His Son Jesus the Christ.

But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me…then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land. Leviticus 26:40 + 42

dave on Twitter HERE

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