Are You on the Candy Diet?

candy     Ever heard of the “Candy Diet?”  Take a look below at what a proponent of the Candy Diet said about it:

“The Candy Diet is great. Everyone knows that diet is all about moderation. Here’s how you moderate: Don’t eat anything but candy. It’s all about caloric intake, and whether you intake calories of candy or healthy proportions from the five food groups, one plus one equals two; calories are calories, they all add up to the same number. Besides, the FDA pyramid is just a government conspiracy so don’t feel badly about straying from it.”

Will eating candy give you the necessary calories that you need to feel “full” and satisfy your cravings for food?  Yes, and if losing weight is your goal, following the Candy Diet help you lose weight.

However, if the question is will the candy diet give you the essential nutrients that your body needs to be healthy and productive?  The answer is, “No.”   The candy diet cannot provide your muscles with the proteins they need, your bones with the calcium they need, your digestive system with the fiber and enzymes it needs, and your cells with the vitamins and minerals they need to be healthy.  Again, the candy diet may allow you to lose weight (and losing weight may make you feel good and even look good for a while), but given enough time the candy diet will hurt you.  Our physical bodies were not designed to thrive on candy.

Likewise, our spiritual bodies are not designed to thrive on religious candy.

  • “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Mark 4:4)

  • ” Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.                       (1 Peter 2:1-3) 

What followers of Jesus need for spiritual health is not religious candy, but “The bread of Life, and the “pure mild of the Word.”  Let me suggest that one of the greatest dangers to our spiritual growth is the danger of substituting religious candy for these two essential ingredients.  Let me explain.

God uses his Word to nourish, transform, equip for service, and to lead His. On the other hand, religious candy, more often than not, does the complete opposite.  So, what is religious candy?

Let me suggest that religious candy can be found in many of the religious cliches and sayings that have become part of our popular Christian culture today.  Religious candy can also be found in the misquoted and taken out of context Bible verses that are served to God’s people from our pulpits today.  And, just as the candy diet can make people feel good for a moment, religious candy may make us feel good for a moment.  Nevertheless, just like the candy diet, dieting on religious candy cannot provide us what we needed for balanced, healthy spiritual growth.  Let me suggest that Christians that diet on religious candy will never obtain the strength to “be steadfast, immovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58), and in the end it will hurt you.

Below is a short list of some religious candies that you may have heard (or perhaps even said) yourself:

  • God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.  (Is  this a cliche?  Look at Romans 11:22 for an answer)
  • No weapon fashioned against you shall prosper. (Does this mean that the next time I am stuck up – Yes, I have been robbed at gunpoint twice – I should expect the gun to jam or the bullet to pass through my body leaving me unharmed?  Take a look at Hebrews 11:36-38)
  • God wants you to be head and not the tail- take a look at 2 Cor. 8:1 and 2, and note that 1)  God bestowed upon the the churches in Macedonia His amazing grace, and 2) they were subjected to “a great trial of affliction”, and deep poverty.”  Also note that the Macedonians experienced tremendous joy in the midst of their poverty and suffering.

Furthermore, let me suggest that one of the most faith destroying cliches (candies) ever uttered, and unfortunately believed by many Christians, is the one that says, “The safest place in the world to be is in the center of God’s will.”  Don’t get me wrong, being in the center of God’s will is always the absolute best place for our lives, but it may not be the safest place to be at all times.  When Jesus commanded his apostles to go into all of the world and make disciples of every nation, He knew that they had some rough, even dangerous times ahead of them.  And because Jesus knew what was coming, he assured the apostles (and us) that in whatever circumstance we may find ourselves in, his empowering presence will be there too.  Jesus said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen” (Matthew 28:20).

Take a look below and then ask yourself, “Is the center of God’s will really the safest place in the world?”

  • Jesus was at the center of God’s will and he ended up mocked, beaten, and crucified. (see Matthew 27)
  • Paul was at the center of God’s will,  and according to church history he was beheaded. (See also 2 Cor. 11:23-28)
  • Jeremiah was at the center of God’s will, and he was thrown into a pit and left to die. (Jeremiah 37:1-16)
  • The prophet Zechariah was at the center of God’s will, and he was murdered in house of God.  (Matthew 23:35)

There are many examples of men and women in the Bible who were in the center of God’s will for their lives, and yet suffered.

“Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented–of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.”          (Hebrews 11:36-38)

The problem with the candy cliche that says “the safest place to be is in the center of God’s will” is that it gives the false impression that God’s perfect will for His people is to always be safe and comfortable as they journey from here to eternity.  This kind of thinking is diametrically different from the truth, “As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” (Romans 8:36).  The truth is that followers of Jesus have been, and are being slaughtered for their faith in Christ.

Christians killed

 “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”          (2 Timothy 3:12)

Let me suggest that God’s perfect will for Christians is that they bring Him glory  by living lives that bear the image of Jesus.  The question is, “How do we do this?”  I think that the Bible answers this question very concisely, saying:

 ¶ Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. (Philippians 2:14-16)

Consider this: if bringing glory to God means putting to death my selfishness, experiencing danger instead of safety, hardship instead of plenty, and suffering persecution instead of enjoying pleasure, popularity, and praise then amen.  For it is also written:

 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)

Considering the above, I like what Erwin. McManus (An Unstoppable Force: Daring to Become the Christian God Had in Mind) wrote,

“The truth of the matter is that the center of God’s will is not a safe place but the most dangerous place in the world! God fears nothing and no one! God moves with intentionally and with power. …. “Following Jesus is a dangerous undertaking. He was willing to die on our behalf. The Father was not only willing to let him die on our behalf, but He commanded it. The only way that I could truly follow God was to die to myself and to live for Him. Only dead men can follow the God of the Cross.”

Finally, I love what the Spirit said to us through the apostle Paul in Galatians 2:20, telling us that the life we lead as followers of Jesus cannot be called the “Candy Life”, however, it is rightly called the “Crucified Life”.

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

 

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He was cru·ci·fy·ed for our sins,

cru·ci·fy ˈkro͞osəˌfī/ verb past tense: crucified; past participle: crucified 1. – to put (someone) to death by nailing or binding them to a cross, especially as an ancient punishment. For as…

Source: He was cru·ci·fy·ed for our sins,

The Game Changing Gospel

Three Crosses and Silhoutted Person in Prayer at Sunrise

Through the gospel God exerts his power to transform lives and change cultures. I am of the opinion that the church does not need another summit or conference on racial reconciliation or multi-culturalism; what’s needed today are preachers who will prophetically proclaim the gospel.  When the gospel is preached to people whom the Holy Spirit has prepared to receive it, they receive it, and they demonstrate their faith in the gospel by walking in “newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)  Let me suggest that anything short of this (changing or accommodating our music styles, or creating night club like atmospheres in our sanctuaries, etc.) will not bring the needed flame of radical revival, but will produce a mere reshuffling of the same old deck of lukewarm cards.

I love this section from George and Woodward’s book, The Mark of Jesus. Using an example from the history of the church, George and Woodward challenge us to consider afresh the power of the gospel to change our lives. They write:

The Testimony of Justin Martyr

Justin Martyr effectively depicted and defended the lifestyle of Christians. In his First Apology (c. A.D. 155), Justin challenged Emperor Antonius Pius to take a good, hard look at the way Christians lived. Justin apparently did not fear that an investigation by the emperor would find the Christians to be hypocrites: “It is for us, therefore, to offer to all the opportunity of inspecting our life and teachings, lest we ourselves should bear the blame for what those who do not really know about us do in their ignorance.” Then, in a marvelous passage, Justin described how the power of the Gospel had transformed Christians at the very core of their aspirations and desires:

Those who once rejoiced in fornication now delight in continence alone; those who made use of magic arts have dedicated themselves to the good and unbegotten God; we who once took pleasure in the means of increasing our wealth and property now bring what we have into a common fund and share with everyone in need; we who hated and killed one another would not associate with men of different tribes because of [their different] customs, now after the manifestation of Christ live together and pray for our enemies and try to persuade those who unjustly hate us, so that they, living according to the fair command of Christ may share with us the good hope of receiving the same things [that we will] from God, the master of all.

According to Justin Martyr, Christians turned their backs on sexual immorality, on the making of money as a life avocation, and on yielding to racism. Rather, they shared their goods even with those whom they had formerly disdained for racial reasons—those who belonged to other tribes. Many Christians were living in unity and were intent on seeing their non-Christian neighbors come to Christ. They prayed for their enemies with the hope that they might likewise become followers of the true God. They believed that only those persons were worthy to be called Christians who actually obeyed their Lord’s teachings.

As for those persons who did not obey Christ’s teachings (hypocrites), Justin Martyr offered little comfort: “Those who are found not living as he taught should know that they are not really Christians, even if his teachings are on their lips, for he said that not those who merely profess but those who also do the works will be saved. For he said this: ‘Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.’”Justin Martyr, therefore, viewed “apologetics”(the defense of the faith) in a somewhat different fashion than we often do, if we limit its scope to the presentation of the “theistic proofs”or historical arguments for the resurrection of Christ. Certainly Martyr made the case for fulfilled prophecies in Scripture, the reality of Christ’s miracles, and the truthfulness of the resurrection. But Martyr was not hesitant also to make the point that many of the Christians he knew obeyed Christ’s teachings. This would mean that any hypocrisy charge regarding them would not stick. He wrote: “Many men and women now in their sixties and seventies who have been disciples of Christ from childhood have preserved their purity: and I am proud that I could point to such people in every nation.”

Justin Martyr’s presentation of how Christians actually lived out their faith received confirmation of sorts from a surprising quarter. Pagan critics, while condemning Christianity as an irrational faith that attracted the weak-minded, on occasion paid backhanded tributes to the Christians by describing them as those who kept their word and shared their goods with each other. Undoubtedly, the early church had its hypocrites who by no means followed Christ in the way Justin Martyr indicated. At the end of the second century, Tertullian complained that he knew Christians, including members of the clergy, who ran after money and church offices rather than seeking to follow Christ’s teachings. For many early Christians, not following Christ’s teachings indicated a person was worse than a hypocrite; the person was a “non-Christian.

Beauty for Ashes – Trusting God Through Tough Situations

tears 2

I remember once saying to a friend of mine, “O, it looks like you have a cold.”  To which he replied, “Don’t put that on me, I am not claiming it.”  Well, seeing my friend standing before me with tissues stuffed into his nostrils, a blanket wrapped around his body, and sweat pouring from his forehead prompted me to reply, “You don’t have to claim it, it has claimed you.”

We are not called to play games with reality.  Our believing that pain, sickness, suffering, poverty, war, death (and etc) are not real will not make them go away.  David was a man who passionately pursued intimacy with God (Acts 13:22).  God loved David immensely, and God blessed David tremendously with undeserved favor (or grace – see 2 Sam. 7:18).  However, God’s love for David, and his grace toward David, did not shield David from experiencing some of the good, the bad and the ugly side of life; as taking a walk through Davids personal history will demonstrate.

God anointed David to be Israel’s next king, which prompted Saul to try to kill him.  When Saul laid a trap to catch David in his home and kill him, he escaped and fled to Ramah seeking the protection of Samuel the prophet (1 Samuel 19:11-17).  When Saul pursued David to Ramah, David ran to his friend Johnathan, Saul’s son, and asked him “What have I done? What is my iniquity, and what is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life (2 Samuel 20:1)

Neither Samuel nor Johnathan could protect David from Saul (Saul even tried to kill his son Johnathan for helping him), therefore he fled again to the village of Nob where the priest who dwelt there helped David by giving him food and the weapons that David had taken from the giant Goliath.  When Saul found out that the priest of Nob helped David, he ordered their death; 85 men were killed along with their wives and their children (2 Samuel 22:18-19).

Samuel, Johnathan, nor the priest of Nob were able to shield David from Saul’s wrath, so he left Nob and fled to Achish where he sought the protection of the Philistines (talk about being humbled and humiliated).  What David found in Achish was not protection but fear.  In Achish, David experienced what is proverbially called, “jumping from the skillet into the fire” (see 2 Samuel 21).  To get out of Achish, David pretends to be crazy, and then flees to the cave of Adullan, where “everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him.”  Remember: David was anointed by God to be the next king.  What a kingdom (a cave), and what subjects (the dregs of life)!

Did David “claim” all of the pain, suffering, and tragedy that followed him?  Absolutely not.  What we learn from reading the testimony of this man of God is that suffering, persecution, tribulation, distress, and pain more often than not come upon us at no fault of our own; these things are products of sin, and characteristics of a fallen world.

God has promised to someday give us “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells”.  He may fulfill this promise today, or He may chose to fulfill it a million days from today.  However, until this day comes God has promised to never leave nor forsake His children.  And until that day comes, God will use life’s painful situations to teach us aspects of His amazing, sustaining grace, and His deep, deep love that can only be learned as we walk with Him “Through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23)

Finding himself held up in the cave of Adullam was probably one of the lowest points of David’s life. Nevertheless, in the cave, in the midst of tremendous pain and suffering, God took David’s relationship with Himself to a deeper level, and the Holy Spirit used David to pen one of the Bible’s great Psalms:

Psalm 57:1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by.
2 I will cry out to God Most High, To God who performs all things for me.
3 He shall send from heaven and save me; He reproaches the one who would swallow me up. Selah God shall send forth His mercy and His truth.
4 My soul is among lions; I lie among the sons of men Who are set on fire, Whose teeth are spears and arrows, And their tongue a sharp sword.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth.
6 They have prepared a net for my steps; My soul is bowed down; They have dug a pit before me; Into the midst of it they themselves have fallen. Selah
7 ¶ My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise.
8 Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn.
9 I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations.
10 For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens, And Your truth unto the clouds.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth.

Life can be very hard.  The pain and suffering of life are real forces that each of us will have to face from time to time.  And although our faith in God will not give us carte blanche to escape life challenges, it does give us a “living hope”. Therefore, as Robert Ketchem once said, “God is too kind to do me wrong, and too wise to make a mistake.”  Furthermore, our faith assures us that in the light of eternity, all things will work together for our good, for we reckon that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)

{Dedicated to the life of Mia and the memory Steve G.  Steve passed into eternity yesterday from the consequences of serving his country during the Gulf War.  Mia is Steve’s precious wife.  Steve was a beloved brother in Christ, a mentor, and a faithful Christian friend.  Sister Mia is one of the most devoted Christian women that I have ever met.  Mia, we love you in the Lord, and we are praying for you and your family.  May your life continue to be a reflection of the amazing grace of God, and the deep love of Jesus.  God will comfort you at this time of loss, and He Himself will someday wipe the tears from your eyes}

 

Hello Christian

I am a christian

Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

Acts 26:28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

 1 Peter 4:16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

According to a December, 2012 Gallup poll, 77% of Americans say they are Christians. (an ABC News poll said it was 82%, but let’s not quibble.)  However, in the 1st Century this term was rarely used to describe the followers of Jesus, and by taking note of the few places in the Bible where this term was used we can discover why this term was not a common designation for religious people, but a special term used to described true followers of Jesus Christ.  Let’s take a look.

First, followers of Jesus were first called “Christians” in Antioch by non-believers after they observed their faith in action (Acts 11:26).  So, what did the non-believer see?   They saw a faith that brought historic enemies (Jews and gentiles) together; coming together because their love for the LORD, and their love for each other caused them to form one church (the body of Christ – Ephesians 4:4-6)).  Likewise, after hearing Paul give an impassioned defense of the gospel, even defying imprisonment or death to do so, king Agrippa exclaimed, “You almost persuade me to become a   Christian” (or a radical follower of Jesus Christ).  Lastly, Peter admonished the believing community to follow the Lord even to the point of suffering and hardship, saying;

  • “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.” (1 Peter 4:16)

So, what does the term “Christian” mean?  Let me suggest to you that the term Christian, used in context, means that the persons thus labeled “Christians”  are distinctively surrendered to, and passionate in love with Jesus Christ (or as Keith Green would say, “Bananas”).   I like the way J. I. Packer identifies a “Christian” below.  Packer writes:

What is a Christian?  He can be described from many angles, but from what we have said it is clear that we can cover everything by saying: he is a man (or woman) who acknowledges and lives under the world of God.  A Christian submits without reserve to the word of God written in ‘the Scripture of truth’ (Daniel 10:21), believing the teaching, trusting the promises, following the commands.  His eyes are to the God of the Bible as his Father, and the Christ of the Bible as his Savior.

If asked, Christians will tell you that the word of God has both convicted them of sin and assured them of God’s forgiveness.  A Christian’s conscience, as Luther observed, is captive to the word and will of God.  Lastly, as noted by the psalmist, Christians aspires to have their lives line up with the Word as “doers of the word and not hearers only” (James 1:22).

“O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!”

“O let me not wander from thy commandments.

” “Teach me thy statutes.  Make me to understand the way of Thy precepts.”

“Incline my heart unto Thy testimonies.”

“Let my heart be sound in Thy statutes.” (Psalm 119:5, 10, 26f., 80).

Christians, like Abraham, believe the promises of God,and are looking “for a city “whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:10)”.  And the precepts of God’s word guide Christians as they live their faith day by day.

The Christian knows that all things (the good, the bad, and the ugly things) will work together for their good because their sovereign God is in control of their circumstances, and He is doing all things for His eternal glory, and their eternal joy; as it is written:

Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

The Christian is an independent person; a person that doesn’t just have a religious bracelet on their wrist that reads “WWJD” (What Would Jesus Do), but they seek to consistently live by faith the WWJD life.

Why does this suggested description the Christian fit so few of us who profess to be Christians today?  I found it profitable to ask my conscience this question, and to let it tell me the answer.  You will too.  (adapted from J. I. Packer’s, Knowing God)

Christian Praying

Are We Servants or Slaves?

Serve-One-Another-e1363895842157

Galatians 5:13 ¶ For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Amazingly, one of the most controversial sermons that I ever preached was based on this verse; particularly the phrase that says, “through love serve one another.”  What made this message so controversial (to some) was when I asked my Christian brothers and sisters this question: “Would you rather be a servant or a slave?”  To which, virtually everyone in the audience answered that they would rather be a servant.  No one wanted to be a slave.  Therefore, when I suggested to by fellow Christian “servants” that the word “serve” in the original language of the N.T. conveys not the image of a servant but the image of a slave, many in the audience got uncomfortable; some even got a little mad.

Let me suggest that the reason being slaves to one another make us feel uncomfortable is because of the different way in which we view the status of a servants and slaves.

  • Servants work for wages.  …………….  Slaves work for free
  • Servants can chose where and for whom they work ,,,,,,,,, Slave have no freedom and are bound to their master’s service
  • Servants retain a sense of personal pride or dignity ………  slavery is considered undignified and beneath us

No one wants to be a slave; even the founders of the United States-a slave owning country at the time-recognized:

We hold these truths to be self-evident,

that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator

with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

The idea of becoming a slave is abhorrent to us.  However, becoming a slave was not abhorrent to Jesus, “who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave.” (see Philippians 2:6,7 in the Holman Christian Standard Bible)  Therefore, if being a Christian is to be a follower of Jesus Christ, and if growing in our Christian faith means being transformed in to the image of Jesus Christ, than as Christians the image that we must bear is not the image of the self seeking, self promoting, self absorbed, and the selfish; all of which are characteristics of the old man, but not the new man that God has created in us (Ephesians 4:17-24; Colossians 3:8-9).

The image of Christ is a selfless image that loves with no strings attached, that serves without seeking the reward and the applause and the thank-yous of others (our reward is awaiting us in Heaven, and our applause will come from God when He says, “well done, you good and faithful slave”).  The image of Jesus is the image of a slave, as it is written:

Philippians 2:1-8 ¶If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal. Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death– even to death on a cross.

A Priceless IPO That You Can Buy Without Money or Price

Psalms 19:7 ¶ The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.10 More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.

Last Thursday Alibaba was introduced to world of finance with much fanfare, as Panos Mourdoukoutas notes, “Anyone following Alibaba’s (NYSE:BABA) debut on Wall Street this week cannot help but be impressed by the buzz it generated among institutional and individual investors, as the stock rocketed higher in the first day of trade.” (Forbes Online, 09/20/2014)  What is so good about Alibaba?  Well, to many investors Alibaba is the next best thing to offer investors an avenue to enormous profits and earthly riches.  However, as good of an investment Alibaba may be, if you are one of the fortunate investors to strike it rich through this investment, when you die, how much of your earthly wealth will you leave behind? And more importantly, “when you pass from earth into eternity, how much of your treasure will you take with you?”  The answer to the first question is, “all of it.”  And the answer to the second question is this; if your treasure was only material, then you will take nothing with you.  (supposedly these were questions being asked after the death of J. D. Rockefeller)

Now if you will, imagine what would be the price of an IPO that promised to give “new life to the soul”, to give wisdom to the foolish”, to make “glad the heart”, to give “light to the eyes”, and it was always “clean”, “true”,  and “full of righteousness”  (quotes are excerpts of Psalm 19 from the Bible in Basic English)?  Wouldn’t this product be priceless?  Yet this is exactly what the Law of the Lord is guaranteed to do.   Nevertheless, the LORD beckons us to come and buy it without money and without price. (Isaiah 55)

What grace the Lord has bestowed upon us in giving us the Bible; it is the only infallible source of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding on earth.  Read it!  Feast on it!  And if you make it your aim in life to both know and to do it, God’s word will positively change your life forever.

Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; 7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; 8 He guards the paths of justice, And preserves the way of His saints.

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