Will You Believe?

I posted this nearly a year ago, but I was in church this past Sunday and heard a wonderful sermon regarding this passage. I felt the need to reshare this post.
“And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house- for I have five brothers-in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.'””‭‭(Luke‬ ‭16:27-31‬ ‭NASB‬‬)

This is a parable told by Jesus prior to His death. He was refuting the Pharisees who place more importance on strict adherence to rules and religiosity rather than faith in God and love toward others. The parable is about a rich man and a poor man and how their actions influence their eternal destination. One placed his faith in money and the other in God. I’ve read this passage many times, but this time I finally saw what Jesus was saying. The Pharisees were men who spent their lives studying the law written down by Moses and the writings of the prophets. Yet with all their knowledge of the scriptures,they could not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. Even when He’d died and risen from the dead, the Pharisees refused to believe.

“For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.” ‭‭(Romans‬ ‭1:21-23‬ ‭NASB‬‬)


Today, people of the United States have access to the Bible (the law of Moses and the Prophets) in the palm of their hand (smartphones) or they can purchase one in any Barnes and Noble. Yet they ignore the truth and turn towards their own desires. The saddest part is that they won’t realize their mistake until it’s too late and they will have no excuse. 


“Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.” (‭‭Romans‬ ‭3:19-20‬ ‭NASB‬‬)

The scariest part of these passages still remains that last verse from Luke 16, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’ Have you ignored the Bible or mocked the words of your Christian friends? Ask yourself a question: Wherever you are reading this blog, if Jesus Christ were to suddenly appeared to you right now, would you believe in Him? What would it take for you to accept Jesus?

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Some Easter Quotes

“Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” (Matthew 28:1-7)

“God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.'” -Billy Graham

“There is only one secure foundation: a genuine, deep relationship with Jesus Christ, which will carry you through any and all turmoil. No matter what storms are raging all around, you’ll stand firm if you stand on His love.” -Charles Stanley

“You must make your choice: either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” -C. S. Lewis

 

Writing to Me Is:

An Outlet for Joy or Frustration.

I write to express my thoughts and humble opinions concerning politics, religion, the economy, etc. 

An Exercise in Introspection

When reading my work, you will find that my characters examine their actions and motives pretty thoroughly. It is one of my own character traits that I place in all my characters not because I believe ever person does this but because they have the potential ability to do so. Introspection is illuminating and as a writer, understanding my own motives enables me to also examine and better understand the motives and desires of others. 

An Expression of Worship

Writing is a gift; a creative means to express God’s glory to the world. Though some may use it to spread woe and discourse, they will face the consequences of their choices one day. I strive to abide by this verse both in spoken and in written word. 

“But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”” (Matthew‬ ‭12:36-37‬ ‭NASB‬‬)

This is very humbling and should make us reconsider every utterance whether verbal, printed or posted. I’m certainly not perfect, but also know that I’m a work in progress. God bless to you all. 

A Quick Thought…

Sometimes we say and/or do things before considering all the consequences. Though we may not mean to, our words and acts can become stumbling blocks to others. As a Christian, one of the greatest shames and what keeps me awake at night is the thought of causing anyone to stumble in their faith or doubt the goodness and love of Jesus Christ. 

“Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” (‭‭Colossians‬ ‭4:5-6‬ ‭NASB‬‬)

A Quick Thought…

  
Seen this picture a hundred times all over the Internet…and it still makes me think each time. Perspective can be everything. Maybe right now God has you in a place you long to escape. Yet when you view your situation from His perspective, it all makes sense.

So the question remains: would you rather be the guy on the island or the guy in the boat?

Or neither?

“Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

(‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:11-13‬ ‭NASB‬‬)

A Quick Thought…

Today, I lost a friend. 

I knew him for only a few years, a small fraction of the time he’d spent on this earth, but he shared much of his history with me. As a historian, their are few greater gifts than to openly share your history with another person. 

To Walter Wayne Gloyer I say this: what you have entrusted to me, I will honor and remember. I am consoled by the hope found in our mutual faith in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. I know I will see you again one day, my friend. 

A Christmas Post: Joy

Merry Christmas to all my faithful readers!

“Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing over the plains
And the mountains in reply,
Echoing their joyous strains...” (Angels We Have Heard On High, French carol, ca. 1862)

“God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay;
Remember Christ, our Saviour,
Was born on Christmas day,
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.” (God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen)

“Hark! the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise;
Join the triumph of the skies;
With angelic host proclaim“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!””

“It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
With news of joy foretold,
“Peace on the earth, good will to men
From heaven's all gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.” (It Came Upon The Midnight Clear, Edmund H. Sears(1810-1876), 1849)

Joy to the world! The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart
Prepare Him room
And Saints and angels sing
And Saints and angels sing
And Saints and Saints and angels sing.” (Joy To The World, Isaac Watts, 1674-1748)

“O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye,
O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold Him
Born the King of angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ, the Lord.”
(O Come, All Ye Faithful, Attributed to John Francis Wade, ca. 1711-1786)

I was listening to a few of my favorite Christmas carols this season and I started hearing the same word said over and over: Joy. The local radio station has been getting its listeners to say their “Joy Pledge” to choose joy this holiday season. But what is joy?

Webster’s Dictionary defines Joy as “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires:” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/joy). The Bible has this to say about joy: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4 NASB) Wait a minute! So joy can come from suffering?

Consider this: a former pastor of mine explained joy this way: Jesus, Others, Yourself. JOY. So having faith in Jesus and putting Him first, others second, and yourself last, produces joy. How is that possible? Where does joy truly come from?

“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” (James 15:11 NASB) Joy comes from Jesus, and keeping our focus on Him this Christmas, and every day, produces joy in our hearts.

So the question is, will you choose joy?