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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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SAMUEL AT GILGAL: CHANGE IN FORMAT

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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samuelatgilgal.com

THE WORLD DOES NOT KNOW US

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1-2 ESV)

Samuel A CainChristians have been given the right to become children of God by receiving Jesus and believing in Him. God has declared that He will be a Father to us. (2 Corinthians 6:18 ESV) Therefore, no one born of God keeps on sinning because the child of God practices righteousness. (1 John 3:9-10 ESV)

The world, however, sees something very different. The world of today is skeptical and indifferent about Christians and the Church. People have lost respect for church leaders. Many ask, “How can you trust the Clergy when they are involved in so many scandals?” The unchurched continue to see Christians as hypocrites. It is also clear that many within the Church are stumbling blocks for the unchurched. Continue reading

MEDITATION

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. (Psalm 119:15 ESV)

Samuel A CainBiblical meditation allows us to dwell on the principles, decrees, words, and commandments of God. Biblical meditation is prolonged thought focused on a single concept, teaching, or attribute of God. Meditation allows the Holy Spirit to teach you the ways of God through God’s Word. There is little evidence of this practice in our fast food, fast service, fast driving, and instant gratification culture.

Biblical meditation engages us in devotional contemplation and prayer.  In this manner, one begins to think and reflect on the holy in a calm and deliberate fashion. King David wrote, “I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.” (Psalm 119:48 ESV)

There are many problems that arise in our lives because we have failed to quietly meditate on the Scriptures regularly. Continue reading

FAITH, HUMILITY, AND WORKS

Samuel A CainIsrael who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone … (Romans 9:31-33 ESV)

Human nature and pride often lead people to think that it is by their own good efforts that they will finally win the approval of God. Such an attitude leads us to believe that God owes us something because we have accumulated good deeds in our “salvation bank”. However, self-righteousness destroys the doctrine of faith as it is taught in the Scriptures.

We must be born again to enter into the kingdom of God. Faith is the means and gift of the Holy Spirit. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV) Continue reading

Active Listening

asleep3Many people sit in the pew on Sunday morning beginning with the good intention of listening closely to their pastor’s sermon. However, it is not to be – because the mind wanders here and there without regard to what is being said from the pulpit. If you really want to get something out of the preaching of God’s Word, you must be an active listener. You will never absorb God’s Word by osmosis. You must be committed to listening and learning the Word of God.

Begin to listen by thinking about the words your pastor is saying. Consider what God is saying through the words of the sermon. An active listener must be conscious and focused upon hearing the teaching of the Scripture. Continue reading

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