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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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The First Chief Justice Of The Supreme Court

Founding Father John Jay (1745-1829) was appointed by President George Washington as the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. In addition to serving on the Supreme Court, Jay had a very distinguished history of public service. He was a member of the Continental Congress (1774-76, 1778-79) and served as President of Congress (1778-79); he helped write the New York State constitution (1777); he authored the first manual on military discipline (1777); he served as Chief-Justice of New York Supreme Court (1777-78); he was appointed minister to Spain (1779); he signed the final peace treaty with Great Britain (1783); and he was elected as Governor of New York (1795- 1801). Jay is also famous as one of the three coauthors, along with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, of the Federalist Papers, which were instrumental in securing the ratification of the federal Constitution. John Jay was a strong Christian, serving both as vice-president of the American Bible Society (1816-21) and its president (1821- 27), and he was a member of American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.

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The Holy Spirit’s Power

The Spirit is given to supply the Savior’s absence, and to apply to our souls the redemption finished on Calvary. It is His blessed work to glorify Jesus; to testify of Him.

Through His power we are renewed; sanctified; filled ‘with all joy and peace in believing,’ and ‘abound in hope’ of a blissful immortality. (David Harsha, “The Savior’s Ascension”)

Choosing God Or Tyrants

Quoting Ronald Reagan:

“There are a great many God-fearing, dedicated, noble men and women in public life, present company included. And yes, we need your help to keep us ever-mindful of the ideas and the principles that brought us into the public arena in the first place. The basis of those ideals and principles is a commitment to freedom and personal liberty that, itself is grounded in the much deeper realization that freedom prospers only where the blessings of God are avidly sought and humbly accepted. The American experiment in democracy rests on this insight. Its discovery was the great triumph of our Founding Fathers, voiced by William Penn when he said: ‘If we will not be governed by God, we must be governed by tyrants’.”

Tolerating Our Self-Destruction

islamicjihadbomberdemo424_0The Mumbai massacre was not a random act of violence and hatred. The perpetrators were young Muslim extremists raised on a steady diet of hatred. Yet the media refuses to name the terrorists’ religion. The terrorists, however, are not so reluctant to identify their motivation. In Mumbai, they referred to themselves as “mujahideen”-Islamic warriors. They are educated in madrassas – Islamic religious schools. The Koran is their authority, and they follow Muslim imams, who issue religious decrees justifying the murder of infidels. Gary Bauer writes in his article “Islamo-Fascists Won’t Negotiate”:

It is a glaring fact that radical Islam is the common denominator in many of the most violent places in the world. It is a sad fact that in India, as in almost every other place where radical Islam has revealed itself, few in the media or in politics are willing to identify what the real problem is.

The media’s reluctance to identify the Mumbai attackers as “Muslim” has been scandalous. As the terrible events unfolded last week, CNN commentators repeatedly referred to the attackers simply as “terrorists” or “extremists.” In one three-hour period, the word “Islamic” was used only once. Statements by many world leaders were no better. The typical statement merely pledged to defeat terrorism without ever specifying who the terrorists were or what their motives might be. . . .

The Mumbai massacre was yet another reminder of an evil ideology whose adherents are willing to violate every rule of war and all societal norms in their quest for power. We have seen their work time and time again – here on 9/11; in the London subway attacks; in Spain; in Indonesia; in Beslan, Russia, where helpless school children were shot in the back; and in scores of other attacks too numerous to list. . . .

It is disgraceful that while our enemy screams who he is, we are more concerned mainly with not appearing intolerant. . . .

Continue reading. . . .

Making Up God

idol_worshipI have noticed over the years that people, even Christians, tend to substitute their own ideas of God for His revelation of Himself in the Bible. They say they believe in God, but where do they get their ideas about God? The truth of the matter is they have made God according to what pleases them. It is their own thoughts and imagination that have determined what God is like – not the Scriptures. In their own hearts they have decided what God can and cannot do.

The obvious end of their personal religious feelings is that they have no authority, except their own opinion, upon which to base and defend their idea of God. They may say they are Christians, but are they really? They may talk about God and the Bible, but the actual Word of God as found in the Bible has absolutely no influence over their lives. They do not want to hear the God of the Bible’s instruction. He is not the Master of their lives. Christianity is merely a cultural observance and interest for them.

Such people attend church as a cultural ritual only to offer lip service to their ideas about God. Their presence is a formality. They have done their part and may now go about their business. The truth is that they have put themselves at the center of their religion and they determine God’s roll. What they think is the truth they accept about God. They worship idols of their own making.

These cultural Christians have failed to understand who God truly is. They have not seen the righteous, just, holy, and immutable God of the Bible. They are ignorant of God. They fail to obey and keep His laws. They do not think of God as their Judge. They have made Him a friendly helper. Yet God needs neither their friendship nor their opinions of Him; He demands their worship. He demands to be the center of their lives. He expects all of us to learn His ways by reading His Book and surrendering control of our lives into His hands.

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