Thursday, October 28, 2010
"Faith is not what some people think it is. Their human dream
is a delusion. Because they observe that faith is not followed by
good works or a better life, they fall into error, even though they
speak and hear much about faith. ``Faith is not enough,'' they
say, ``You must do good works, you must be pious to be saved.''
They think that, when you hear the gospel, you start working,
creating by your own strength a thankful heart which says, ``I
believe.'' That is what they think true faith is. But, because
this is a human idea, a dream, the heart never learns anything
from it, so it does nothing and reform doesn't come from this
Instead, faith is God's work in us, that changes us and gives
new birth from God. (John 1:13). It kills the Old Adam and makes us
completely different people. It changes our hearts, our spirits,
our thoughts and all our powers. It brings the Holy Spirit with
it. Yes, it is a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this
faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn't
stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone
asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without
Faith is a living, bold trust in God's grace, so certain of
God's favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it.
Such confidence and knowledge of God's grace makes you happy,
joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures. The
Holy Spirit makes this happen through faith. Because of it, you
freely, willingly and joyfully do good to everyone, serve
everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who
has shown you such grace. Thus, it is just as impossible to
separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from
fire! Therefore, watch out for your own false ideas and guard
against good-for-nothing gossips, who think they're smart enough
to define faith and works, but really are the greatest of fools.
Ask God to work faith in you, or you will remain without
faith, no matter what you wish, say, or do."
Monday, October 25, 2010
Your Word is Truth" (John 17)
Truth is more than just facts. It's reality.What's true is true, for everyone, everywhere, all the time.
We can't create the truth - but we can discover it.We can't change the truth, but it can change us.
We all long for the truth, even when we try to reject it.
As C.S. Lewis put it, "The truth is what it is and what it was long before I was born, whether I like it or not."
God is the source of all truth. He has written His truth on our hearts.It is the natural law, which we often call our conscience. It is the basic knowledge of right and wrong, falsehood and truth.
Even though because of our sin we turned away from His truth, God still kept His promise to save the world through His Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, for He alone is faithful and true. He came down from heaven to earth, into the world that He had created, in order that He might save it. This is the blessed truth of the Gospel.
Jesus said, " I am the way, the truth, and the life." He didn't say He would show the truth or live the truth or teach the truth - He said He is the truth. He is Truth Personified.
The Psalmist writes, "The God of truth is not a man, that he should lie or change his mind."
God is truth and His Word is truth.
The truth about God's forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life through Jesus Christ can be found only in the Bible, the Book of Truth, God's Holy Word.
"You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8)
Thursday, October 21, 2010
It's a good news/bad news situation for believers in the 2012 Mayan apocalypse. The good news is that the Mayan calendar may not end on Dec. 21, 2012 (and the world may not end along with it). The bad news for prophecy believers? If the calendar doesn't end in December 2012, no one knows when it actually will — or if it has already.
Looks like end-of-the-world theorists may need to find another ancient calendar on which to pin their apocalyptic hopes...
(from live science)
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
"Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11)
To have faith means to believe. It means to place your trust, your confidence, and your hope in someone or something greater than yourself.
But faith is only as good as the object in which it is placed. If we put our faith in earthly people or things, sooner or later we are going to be let down. We live in a fallen world, full of sinful people and broken things, and in the end they are unable to deliver the goods, to give us what we are all looking for, something to believe in.
So don't put your faith in earthly people or things - and for that matter don't even put your faith in our own faith!
There is only One in whom we can fully trust to have faith in and believe. There is only One Who always keeps His promises and in Whom we can place our hope. There is only One Who is worthy of all of our worship, honor, and praise. There is only One in whom there is forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation for all believe. There is only one way to heaven, and it is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Savior of the World.
Believe in Him. Have faith in Him. Put your trust in Him, and you will be saved.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
A family in Buffalo, N.Y. may have had a painting worth $300 million tucked behind their living room sofa for 27 years, reports the New York Post.
An expert has analyzed the painting and believes it to be a lost Michelangelo -- an unfinished painting of Jesus and Mary -- potentially one of the biggest finds of the century.
How did the family get the painting?
Its history points to the work being done by Michelangelo around 1545 for his friend, Vittoria Colonna. The Pieta painting was passed to two Catholic cardinals, eventually ending up in the hands of a German baroness named Villani, according to the Post.
The work ended up in the family after Villani willed it to her lady-in-waiting Gertrude Young. Young was the sister-in-law of Kober’s great-grandfather and she sent the work to America in 1883.
Now in a bank vault, the painting, according to experts, is estimated to be worth hundreds of millions - perhaps, like those seen at the New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art -- even $300 million.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
In one God (Deut. 6:4, Is. 44:6)
The Father (Is. 63:16, 2 Pet 1:17, Matt. 6:9)
Almighty (Gen. 17:1, Ps. 91:1, Rev. 4:8)
Maker (Job 4:17, 35:10, Is. 17:7, 54:5)
of heaven (Gen 1:1, 8)
and earth (Ps. 104:5, Jer. 51:15)
and of all things (Gen 1:31)
visible and invisible. (Ps. 89:11-12, Amos 4:13, Rev. 3:5, Col. 1:16)
And in one Lord (Eph. 4:5)
Jesus Christ, (Acts 10:36, 11:17, Rom. 1:7, 5:1, 1 Cor 1:2, 6:11, 2 Cor. 1:2, 8:9
Gal. 1:3, 6:14, Eph. 1:2, 3:11, Phil. 1:2, 3:20, Col. 1:3, 2:6, 1 Thes. 1:1, 5:9,
2 Thes. 1:1, 2:14, 1 Tim. 6:3, 14, 2 Tim. 1:2, Philemon 1:3, 25, Heb. 13:20,
Jas. 1:1, 2:1, 1 Pet. 1:3, 3:15, 2 Pet. 1:8, 14, Jude 17, 21, Rev. 22:20-21)
the only-begotton (John 1:18)
Son of God (Matt 3:17, John 3:16)
Begotten of His Father (Heb. 1:5)
Before all worlds (John 1:1, Col. 1:17, 1 John 1:1)
begotten (John 1:1, Heb. 1:5)
not made (Mic. 5:2, John 1:18, 17:5)
Being of one substance with the Father (John 10:30, 14:9)
By whom all things were made (1 Cor. 8:6, Col 1:16)
Who for us men (Matt 20:28, John 10:10)
and for our salvation (Matt 1:21, Luke 19:10)
came down from heaven (Rom. 10:6, Eph. 4:10)
and was incarnate (Col. 2:9)
by the Holy Spirit (Matt 1:18)
of the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:34-35)
and was made man (John 1:1)
and was crucified (Matt. 20:19, John 19:18, Rom. 5:6, 8, 2 Cor. 13:4)
also for us (Rom. 5:8, 2 Cor. 5:15)
under Pontius Pilate (Matt. 27:2, 26, 1 Tim 6:13)
He suffered (1 Pet. 2:21, Heb. 2:10)
and was buried (Mark 15:46, 1 Cor. 15:4)
And the third day (Matt. 27:63, 28:1, 1 Cor. 15:4)
He rose again (Mark 16:6, 2 Tim. 2:8)
according to the Scriptures (Ps. 16:10, Luke 24:25-27, 1 Cor. 15:4)
and ascended (Luke 24:51, Acts 1:9)
Into heaven (Mark 16:19, Acts 1:11)
and sits at the right hand of the Father. (Ps. 110:1, Matt. 26:64, Acts 7:56, Heb. 1:3)
And He will come again (Jn. 14:3, 1 Thes. 4:16)
with glory (Matt. 16:27, 24:30, 25:31, 26:64, Mark. 8:38, Col. 3:4)
to judge (Matt. 25:31-46, Acts 17:31)
both the living and the dead, (Acts 10:42, 1 Pet. 4:5)
whose kingdom (John 18:36, 2 Tim. 4:1, 18)
will have no end. (Luke 1:33, Rev. 11:15, Ps. 145:13)
And I believe in the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19, Acts 13:2)
The Lord (2 Cor. 3:17)
And giver of life (John 6:63, Rom. 7:6, 8:2, 2 Cor. 3:6)
who proceeds from the Father (John 14:16-17)
and the Son (John 15:26, Rom. 8:9, Gal. 4:6)
Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped (Luke 4:8, John 4:24)
and glorified (John 4:24, 1 Tim. 1:17)
Who spoke by the prophets (1 Pet. 1:10-11, 2 Pet 1:21)
And I believe in one (1 Cor. 10:16-17, 12:12-13)
Holy (Eph. 3:16-17, 5:27, 1 Pet. 2:9)
Christian (1 Cor. 1:2)
and Apostolic (Eph. 2:20, Rev. 21:14)
Church (Acts 20:28, Eph. 1:22-23, Col. 1:24, Heb. 12:23, 1 Pet. 2:9)
I acknowledge one Baptism (John 3:5, Rom. 6:3, Eph. 4:5)
For the remission of sins (Acts 2:38, 1 Pet. 3:21, Tit. 3:5)
And I look for the resurrection of the dead (1 Thes. 4:16, 1 Cor. 15:12-13, 16, 52)
And the life of the world to come (1 Cor 15:54-57, Rev. 22:5)
Amen (Ps. 41:13, 2 Cor. 1:20)
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Here is Dr. Gene Edward Veith's response to the question, "What is your faith?" (I really like his answer.)
"I am a Lutheran Christian. Lutheranism is sacramental and liturgical, and it is also evangelical and biblical. At the same time, Lutheranism avoids legalism, affirms our life in the world, and above all focuses on the grace of Christ. For me, Lutheranism embraces the whole scope and depth of Christianity at its best."
Monday, October 4, 2010
By ouselves we are nothing. But by God's grace through faith in Christ, we are something and have everything.
That’s because salvation is only by God's grace, a free gift from God through faith in Christ Jesus to all who believe. God does it all - we're just along for the ride. We can't do any of it on our own. If you think about it, our only real role in God raising us from the dead is ... being dead! (which really isn’t much of an accomplishment at all on on our part. )
Being saved by grace through faith means believing in Jesus as your Savior, trusting in His death and resurrection, and receiving His forgiveness and salvation through belief and baptism.
It's as easy as that.
But that's a little too easy for some. For them the grace of God is unimaginable, because it's hard to believe that you can get something for nothing in this life. But God's Grace is different than what the world offers. It's getting what you don't deserve. It's God's riches at Christ's expense. It's your fithy rags in exchange for Christ's robe of righteousness. It's like Christmas - Jesus has the birthday, but we get all the gifts!
Sound too good to be true? Yes it does. But in fact, it is the greatest truth the world has ever known.
"By grace you are saved, through faith, and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, so no one can boast." (Romans 2:8)
Friday, October 1, 2010
Scientists say they have discovered a planet that orbits a star in an earth-like manner. And these scientists think that the newly-discovered planet may have both liquid water and an atmosphere, two things necessary to sustain life.
Do you think there is life elsewhere in the universe? By “life,” I mean intelligent life, not just some microorganism.
And if there is, how will God relate to this life? Is sin the same for them as it is for us? Would the payment for sin cost God the same on their planet as it cost him on ours?
Before you answer, you might want to read one of the books from the Space Trilogy by C. S. Lewis. And read his essay entitled, “Will We Lose God In Outer Space?” In it, Lewis thought that life elsewhere in the galaxy was at least a possibility. But at the same time he says that “those who do not find Him on earth are unlikely to find Him in space.”