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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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  • Recommended Reading

OF FLAGS, STATUES, AND FOOLISHNESS

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (George Santayana)

Ignore history at your own peril. Banning flags and tearing down statues will not hide sin; make us more righteous; or prevent hate. All this is simply the outside of the cup. Americans must change within. This is the true change that Christ promised. Anyone who believes in Jesus Christ is a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) There is salvation in no other name. It is the gift of God confirming the love of God and those who are loved by God love one another.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (Colossians 3:12-13)

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ORIGINS

The matter of origins … is absolutely critical to all human thinking.  It becomes critical to how we conduct our lives as human beings.  Without an understanding of origins, without a right understanding of origins, there is no way to comprehend ourselves.  There is no way to understand humanity, as to the purpose of our existence, and as to our destiny.  If we cannot believe what Genesis says about origins, we are lost as to our purpose and our destiny.  Whether this world and its life as we know it evolved by chance, without a cause, or was created by God, has immense comprehensive implications for all of human life.

(John MacArthur, Creation: Believe It or Not, Part 1)

 

TRAVELING ON THE GOOD WAY

Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.’ (Jeremiah 6:16, ESV)

In this age of the Global Positioning System (GPS), we may navigate our cars to any place we desire and enjoy a large measure of certainty that our GPS devices will guide us to the correct location. However, it is often not so easy to navigate the highways of life. The decisions we make in finding our way may put us far from Bunyan’s “Celestial City”.

The verse above provides wisdom for the journey of life. Where various routes meet and we are unsure of the way, we should look to the Scriptures to guide our travel. The Scriptures will lead us to Christ and salvation. This ancient book, the Bible, is the best map and directory.

Continue reading

DOUBTING CHRISTMAS?

In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4-5 ESV)

Modern culture has created a society in which skepticism and cynicism thrive. We especially see a lot of this during the Christmas season. Atheist ads tell us there is no God – “so just be good for goodness’ christmassake.” Others remind us each year that Jesus was not born on the 25th of December and that it was a pagan holiday. They don’t understand that when the early Church saw the work of Satan in the customs of the people, they aggressively set out to change and sanctify it to the glory of Jesus Christ. How many people do you know today who celebrate the holiday of Saturnalia or the festival of the Birth of the Unconquered Sun? See my point? They were not compromising with the world; they were taking the world for Christ.

In our present time, people still want to celebrate Christmas, but many do not seriously make Christmas a time to advance the cause of Christ. Too often, the impulse behind our modern Christmas is unashamed materialism. Santa, decorations and the spirit of self-indulgence have replaced the Spirit of Christ in this Christian celebration. The world continues to seduce the children of God to return to paganism. Will Christmas succumb to the darkness and become only a cultural holiday? Continue reading

FINE BUILDINGS, MUSIC, AND CARRIAGES

Charles Haddon SpurgeonCharles H. Spurgeon:

“If the professed followers of Christ happen to meet in some fine building and worship God with grand music and gorgeous rituals, then the people of the world put up with them! They may go even so far as to patronize them, though, even then, their respect is chiefly called forth, not on behalf of the people, but because of the building, the fine music and the carriages. The carriages are especially important, for without a certain number of them at the door, it is deemed impossible to have a proper display of cultured Christianity!” (1891, Sermon #2219)

Their Chief End is to become Rich

John Angell JamesJohn Angell James:

The great object of life to many professing Christians, seems to be to become rich. Their chief end does not appear to be so much to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever–as to obtain and enjoy the present world! Wealth is the center of their wishes–the invariable tendency of their desires. Jehovah is the God of their creed–but Mammon is the God of their hearts! They are devout adorers of the God of wealth.

 

The World’s Toys

 

 

John Piper (theologian)

 

John Piper:

 

“I am wired by nature to love the same toys that the world loves. I start to fit in. I start to love what others love. I start to call earth “home.” Before you know it, I am calling luxuries “needs” and using my money just the way unbelievers do. I begin to forget the war. I don’t think much about people perishing. Missions and unreached people drop out of my mind. I stop dreaming about the triumphs of grace. I sink into a secular mind-set that looks first to what man can do, not what God can do. It is a terrible sickness. And I thank God for those who have forced me again and again toward a wartime mind-set.” (Don’t Waste Your Life)

 

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