• 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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Do You Believe In Jesus Christ?

john_3_16_draftWhat does it mean to believe in Jesus Christ? What is believing? What is the nature of faith? Many make the answers to these questions much harder than they really are because of pride. Believing in Christ is not acknowledging who He is. Head knowledge is important but it is not saving faith. A person can know many things about the historical Jesus, but that alone does not save.

Although feeling and faith are connected, feeling alone is no sign of true belief. Feelings are fickle. Feelings come and go. We may be inclined toward belief in the Gospel because of great emotions, but yet remain unchanged in our hearts concerning our worldly passions.

Do you trust Christ without a second thought? Are you convicted of sin in your heart? True belief is submission to Christ as your all-in-all. It simply acknowledges Christ as your only hope of salvation. The conviction of sin accompanied by trust in Christ as the only One who can save, is the exact time of true belief and the beginning of saving faith. Here lies the important answer to the question: “Do you believe in Jesus Christ?”

George Whitefield: “Has Not God Revealed Himself?”

“How foolishly then do the disputing infidels of this generation act, who are continually either calling for signs from heaven, or seeking for outward evidence to prove the truth of divine revelation? Whereas, what they so earnestly seek for is nigh unto, nay, within them. For let them but consult their own hearts, they cannot but feel what they want. Let them but consult the lively oracles of God, and they cannot but see a remedy revealed for all their wants, and that the written word does as exactly answer the wants and desires of their hearts, as face answers to face in the water. Where then is the scribe, where is the wise, where is the solidity of the reasoning of the disputers of this world? Has not God revealed himself unto them, as plain as their own hearts could wish? And yet they require a sign: but there shall no other sign be given them. For if they believe not a revelation which is every way so suited to their wants, neither will they be persuaded though one should rise from the dead.” (Sermon, “The Duty of Searching the Scriptures”)

Jonathan Edwards: “That He Might Win Christ”

“We should follow him [Paul] in his earnestness in seeking his own salvation. He was not careless and indifferent in this matter; but the kingdom of heaven suffered violence from him. He did not halt between two opinions, or seek with a wavering, unsteady mind, but with the most full determination and strong resolution. He resolved, if it could by any means be possible, that he would attain to the resurrection of the dead. He does not say that he was determined to attain it, if he could, by means that were not very costly or difficult, or by laboring for it a little time, or only now and them, or without any great degree of suffering, or without great loss in his temporal interest. But if by any means he could do it, he would, let the means be easy or difficult. Let it be a short labor and trial, or a long one; let the cross be light or heavy; it was all one to his resolution. Let the requisite means be what they would, if it were possible, he would obtain it. He did not hesitate at worldly losses, for he tells us that he readily suffered the loss of all things, that he might win Christ, and be found in him, and in his righteousness.” (Sermon, “The Character of Paul an Example to Christians”)

General “Stonewall” Jackson: God Has Fixed The Time

stonewalljackson“Captain, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me.” He added, after a pause, looking me full in the face: “That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave”

Do You Have A Problem? Blame It On Global Warming!

global-warming-hoaxFOXNews.com recently listed a number of problems the media has reported are occurring or will occur as the result of man-made global warming. It seems that global warming is being made the scapegoat of many concerns that sound ridiculous.

  • Media mogul Ted Turner said that global warming would turn us into cannibals.
  • Scotland’s Daily Mirror has reported that the Lock Nest Monster (Nessie) may be dead because of global warming.
  • The Associated Press has reported that global warming will cause an increase in the price of beer.
  • According to USAToday.com, giant pythons – big enough to eat alligators and people in a single mouthful – will be living in one-third of continental U.S. as a result of global warming.
  • The Globe and Mail reported that there will be an increase in people with kidney stones over the next 30 years because of global warming.
  • The Guardian reported that whales are significantly skinnier because of global warming.
  • The Guardian reported that an increase in fatal shark attacks was the result of global warming.
  • CNSNews.com reported that the 1993 crash of a U.S. military helicopter in Mogadishu (“Black Hawk Down”) should be blamed on global warming.
  • National Geographic reported that baby penguins froze to death in July because of global warming.
  • The Daily Mail reported that killer stingrays will invade the beaches of England because of global warming.

Read the entire article here. . . .

Yet, it is interesting to note that all four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA’s GISS, UAH, RSS) have released data showing that global temperatures have dropped precipitously. The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C — a value large enough to wipe out most of the warming recorded over the past 100 years. DailyTech reports that the link to the cooling is reduced solar activity which is the real driver behind climate change. These warming and cooling cycles are caused by the sun’s increase and decrease of solar activity. It is an unstoppable force which is an integral part of the earth’s natural history.

My Times are in Your Hands By Alistair Begg

yearend-clock“In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.”

In the opening verses of Psalm 31, it is apparent that the Psalmist is in anguish. As we read on, he seems to find himself in a position of assurance just a few verses later, but then quickly returns to a state of distress.

This cycle of pain and joy is not an unusual experience in our Christian pilgrimage. Most of us are a jumble of emotions and a cross section of experiences. The good, the bad, and the ugly wash over us regularly. The key issue is what we do with these experiences: how does being a believer shape the way in which we view these events and our world?

Verse 15 of Psalm 31 reads, “My times are in your hands.” These six words are the affirmation of the person who knows himself to be­­­­ – despite disasters and difficulties – under the care of Almighty God. It is this certainty that will bring equilibrium to us in the span of events that would either inflate our egos or crush our souls. As I have reflected on this verse, I have found nine truths which emerge from the simple statement, “My times are in your hands.”

1) I am not trapped in the grip of blind force.

The blind impersonal force has been referred to simply as “nature” for centuries, just as it is today. You only have to turn on the Weather Channel to hear talk of Mother Nature and her forces…

2) I am not tossed about on the ocean of chance.

In the movie Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams’ character reports the successes of his past students and tells his current students to do their best in the moment that they have. . . .

Continue reading “My Times Are In Your Hands. . . .”

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