~ John Donne
MERRY CHRISTMAS! May you see the glory of our one true God in our Savior Jesus Christ this Christmas season.
We were dead in our trespasses. (Ephesians 2:5)
The mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:7–8)
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
He chose us in him before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4).
As many as were appointed to eternal life believed. (Acts 13:48)
"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. (Romans 9:15–16)
God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise. (1 Corinthians 1:27)
Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened. (Romans 11:7; cf. 9:11–12; John 6:37)
My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me. (Isaiah 43:10)
Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. (Ephesians 5:25)
I lay down my life for the sheep. (John 10:15)
I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. . . . And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. (John 17:9, 19)
Even when we were dead in our trespasses, he made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:5)Perseverance of the Saints: Those that God has graciously chosen and saved will continue in the fight of faith; God will work in them so that they persevere.
No one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father. (John 6:65)
God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 2:25
Those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:30)
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:27–28)
I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. (Philippians 3:12)
"The key to the Columbo tactic is that the Christian goes on the offensive in a disarming way with carefully selected questions to productively advance the conversation. If you hit a roadblock when witnessing, ask a good question. There are three basic ways to use the Columbo tactic that can tame the most belligerent critic, each launched by a different question. Three uses, three questions:This quote was taken from Greg Koukl's Ambassador Basic Curriculum, "Tactics in Defending the Faith" which can be obtained at his website, http://www.str.org/. Hopefully this will can serve you as you seek to be a faithful of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1. To gain information and stay out of the "hot seat" - "What do you mean by that?"
2. To reverse the burden of proof - "Now how did you come to that conclusion?"
3. To indirectly exploit a weakness or a flaw in someone's views - "Have you considered...(then finish the sentence by offering an alternative view that gently challenges his/her beliefs, possibly exposing a point of weaknesss you uncovered in the answers to your first two questions. For example, "Have you ever considered that the existence of evil is actually evidence FOR the existence of God, not against it?")
My life is but a weaving between my God and me,Will you endure suffering, even finding a joy in it, knowing and showing that Jesus is more valuable than all that life can give and all that death can take?
I do not choose the colors; He works so steadily.
Oft times He weaves in sorrow, and I in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper, and me the underside.
Not till the loom is silent, and the shuttles cease to fly,
Will God unroll the canvas, and explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful in the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.
“Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know.” (1 Thes. 3:1-4)
This quote comes from a helpful, free e-book by Tim Challies entitled, "Sexual Detox, A Guide for the Married Guy." I just finished reading this and would now put it in my top two or three resources for our battle against sexual sin. Tim does a phenominal job of showing the dangers of lust and pornography from a biblical perspective. One of the best chapters, in my opinion, is entitled, "A Theology of Sex," where he does a masterful job of showing the God-designed beauty and intent of sex.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience — among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.You gotta admit it's a pretty bleak picture. But now this leads me to the title of this post. Yes the state of humanity is horrendeous, but then you get to the first two words (at least in the English version) of verse 4, "But God." But God. There is no hope for mankind except in those two wonderful words - But God.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved... (Ephesians 2:4-5)Those two words are so glorious. They introduce this amazing God who saves His rebellious enemies through His own plan and work in the life, death, burial, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. I pray you have seen the wonder and awesomeness of this God and respond to Him by turning from your own self-directed-way and placing your full hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. And if you have already done this, that you would stand amazed again today.
What shall we say, then? That the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel 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, as it tis written, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."