Archive for the ‘Thoughts on God’ Category

Hello from Germany

Posted: November 3, 2019 in Thoughts on God

My secular job has brought me to teach in Germany for 3 months. Yesterday I went to see the remains of a Concentration Camp, and it was life changing.

One of the things that hit me most about my trip to the concentration camp today was a guide that had been there. He lived through it.The place was shrouded in fog, which made it even more eerie, and I almost had the place, and him, to myself. I had a long talk with him as he showed me where he watched people get gassed to death. Where he witnessed hatred on a level beyond words. But what stuck in my mind the most was when he said he could see that same kind of hatred today. He said he is watching the U.S., and sees a Country that everyone used to look up to turn into one that is filled with hate for each other. He said it scares him because it was the Americans that freed him, and we now look like Germany before World War II.. Filled with hate for other political parties, and each other. He said he prays for us every day. That we learn to disagree, yet still love each other. This came from a Holocaust survivor. Once again, my life has changed.

Colossians 3:8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

I love reading articles from other people’s perspectives, and today I want to share one by Chris Lutes. Give it a read below, and see what you think.

7 Reasons Not to Share Christ (And why we should go ahead and do it anyway.)

1) “I’m not smart enough.”
Fact: Jesus’ disciples weren’t known for their brains or their theology degrees. They were pretty ordinary guys, really. Take the time Peter and John were telling a hostile crowd of religious leaders about Jesus. Here’s how Acts 4:13 puts it: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus” (ESV). Look at that last part again: And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. Maybe you’ve heard this saying: “It’s not what you know that counts. It’s who you know.” Knowing Jesus is what matters. You are smart enough to tell others about Jesus because you have a friendship with him. And the closer you get to him, and the better you know him, the more you’ll have to say about him.

2) “I don’t want to make anybody mad.”
Maybe you’ve been around Christians who are annoying. The way they act—all smug and self-righteous—can make non-Christians angry. We don’t want that. So we keep quiet. Understandable. But now look at Jesus: People crowded around him. People wanted to know him. People wanted to follow him. Why? He cared about hurting and lost people (Matthew 9:36). He listened carefully and responded to their deepest needs (John 4:1-26). Now, he did occasionally make people mad. He was really good at ticking off religious know-it-alls. He found self-righteous people annoying, too. But it was the message that ticked people off, not the messenger. Sometimes the truth hurts. So, it’s okay if people get a little mad sometimes—as long as it’s the true message of Jesus that upsets them, and not the obnoxious messenger.

3) “My friends will make fun of me.”
Here’s something to think about: We often turn this fear into a bigger problem than it really is. You’d be surprised at how often people will respect you for your beliefs. They might not understand why you don’t drink at parties, or avoid dirty jokes, or why you like youth group. And you might hear an occasional “fanatic” or “religious nut.” But people often find genuine faith pretty interesting—confusing, but interesting. Many people will even respect you for your strong convictions. In fact, when we try our best to live and act like Jesus, we “shine like stars” in a world that’s pretty dark (Philippians 2:15). So let your life shine, knowing others can’t help but be attracted to the light.

4) “None of my Christian friends do it.”
Ever talk to your friends about why they don’t witness? There could be a ton of reasons—like those in this article. Maybe they’re just not sure how to witness. Why not use this article to get the conversation going? You could also do a book study together. Suggestion: Witnessing 101 by Tim Baker. Of course, you may need to take the lead and be the first in your group to witness. Your friends just might follow.

5) “I’m not a very good Christian.”
You’re a believer, but you mess up. You don’t pray or read your Bible as much as you should. And you sin. Every day. So why should you tell other people about Christ if you can’t even get it right? Fortunately, being a believer isn’t about getting it right. It’s about God’s love and God’s forgiveness. It’s about his saving grace. (See Ephesians 2:8-9John 3:16 and Colossians 2:13.) So, does this mean you can act however you want? No. God wants us to become more like him each and every day. But he can also use us even when we mess up or aren’t as good as we should be. You don’t have to be “perfect” to share Christ. Not at all. Instead, make it clear to your friends: “You know, I’m sure not perfect. That’s why I need God’s love and forgiveness.” Chances are, your friends will appreciate your honesty. They might also be kind of amazed to discover you believe in a loving and forgiving God. And isn’t that what the Good News is all about?

6) “All of my friends are Christians.”
It’s great to have good Christian friends. God uses our Christian friendships to help us grow in our faith. And it’s just fun to be around people who love God. But we also need to, as Jesus put it, “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). We can’t do that if we don’t have any non-Christian friends.

7) “I don’t even know where to start.”
Why not start by inviting a non-Christian friend to your youth group? Maybe your group has special events that are fun outreach nights with no heavy Bible studies. At least invite a non-Christian to take in a movie with you and your Christian friends. Then what? Well, when the subject of faith comes up, start with the story of how you became a Christ-follower. Or talk about why you’re a Christian and how God helps you live life. Just be honest, just be real, just be you—and you might be surprised at how much God can use to reach out to others.

 

How often do you shower?

Posted: August 26, 2019 in Thoughts on God

John 15:3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.

In today’s verse, we see that the word of God makes us clean. The problem is, people come to Church on Sunday, get clean from hearing a sermon, then don’t get clean again until next Sunday.

Can you imagine taking a shower, then putting the same dirty clothes on again? That’s what happens when we go to Church, hear the Word of God, then go back out into the world and not bother to stay engaged with God for the rest of the week. We’re clean for a few hours, but our “Shower of Knowledge” goes away and so does our enthusiasm.

Make sure that you’re keeping “clean” every day by reading your Bible. It will inspire you, strengthen you, give you hope, and never let you down. Treat it like you do your personal hygiene, do it daily, and often. The more you do it, the more refreshed you will feel.

The following list is a list of facts about the Bible not designed to discuss doctrine, or provide in-depth teaching. It is merely a resource center for factual information on the Bible. Many of these questions have been addressed in various locations throughout my website; however, as many people do not have the time to comb through the entire website to find the answers they are looking for, I’ve compiled the following list just for a little fun and light reading. Enjoy!

Universal Truths & Facts About the Bible

Facts About The BibleThe Bible Is Our Standard

1. How many books are in the Bible? The Bible contains 66 books, divided among the Old and New Testaments.

2. How many books are in the Old Testament? There are 39 books in the Old Testament.

3. How many books are in the New Testament? There are 27 books in the New Testament.

4. What does “testament” mean? Testament means “covenant” or “contract.”

5. Who wrote the Bible? The Bible was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by over 40 different authors from all walks of life: shepherds, farmers, tent-makers, physicians, fishermen, priests, philosophers and kings. Despite these differences in occupation and the span of years it took to write it, the Bible is an extremely cohesive and unified book.

6. Which single author contributed the most books to the Old Testament? Moses. He wrote the first five books of the Bible, referred to as the Pentateuch; the foundation of the Bible.

7. Which single author contributed the most books to the New Testament? The Apostle Paul, who wrote 14 books (over half) of the New Testament.

8. When was the Bible written? It was written over a period of some 1,500 years, from around 1450 B.C. (the time of Moses) to about 100 A.D. (following the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ).

9. What is the oldest book in the Old Testament? Many scholars agree that Job is the oldest book in the Bible, written by an unknown Israelite about 1500 B.C. Others hold that the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) are the oldest books in the Bible, written between 1446 and 1406 B.C.

10. What is the youngest book in the Old Testament? The book of Malachi, written about 400 B.C.

11. What is the oldest book of the New Testament? Probably the book of James, written as early as A.D. 45.

12. What is the youngest book in the New Testament? The Book of Revelation is the youngest book of the New Testament, written about 95 A.D.

13. What languages was the Bible written in? The Bible was written in three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek.

14. When was the Bible canonized? The entire New Testament as we know it today, was canonized before the year 375 A.D. The Old Testament had previously been canonized long before the advent of Christ.

15. What does “canon” mean? “Canon” is derived front the Greek word “Kanon,” signifying a measuring rod. Thus, to have the Bible “canonized” meant that it had been measured by the standard or test of divine inspiration and authority. It became the collection of books or writings accepted by the apostles and leadership of the early Christian church as a basis for Christian belief. It is the standard by which all Christians throughout the ages live and worship.

16. When was the first translation of the Bible made into English? 1382 A.D., by John Wycliffe.

17. When was the Bible printed? The Bible was printed in 1454 A.D. by Johannes Gutenberg who invented the “type mold” for the printing press. It was the first book ever printed.

18. What is the oldest almost-complete manuscript of the Bible now in existence? The Codex Vaticanus, which dates from the first half of the fourth Century. It is located in the library of the Vatican in Rome. There are older fragments of the Bible that are still preserved however– the oldest being a tiny scrap of the Gospel of John was found in Egypt, dating back to the beginning of the second century. (It is currently in the Rayland’s Library in Manchester, England).

19. What is the longest book in the Bible? The book of Psalms.

20. What is the shortest book in the Bible? 2 John.

21. What is the longest chapter in the Bible? Psalm 119

22. What is the shortest chapter in the Bible? Psalm 117

23. What is the longest verse in the Bible? Esther 8:9

24. What is the shortest verse in the Bible? John 11:35

25. Which book in the Bible does not mention the word “God?” The book of Esther.

26. Who was the oldest man that ever lived? Methuselah who lived to be 969 years old (Genesis 5:27).

27. Who were the two men in the Bible who never died but were caught up to heaven? Enoch, who walked with God and was no more (Genesis 5:22-24). Elijah, who was caught up by a whirlwind into heaven (II Kings 2:11).

28. Who does the Bible say was the meekest man in the Bible (not including Jesus)? Moses (Numbers 12:3).

29. How many languages has the Bible been translated into? The Holy Bible has been translated into 2,018 languages, with countless more partial translations, and audio translations (for unwritten languages). (This is an enormous amount of translations. In comparison, Shakespeare, considered by many to be the master writer of the English language, has only been translated into 50 languages.)

30. Is the Bible still the best-selling book in the world? Yes, indeed!

Genesis 5:32-10:1

Can you imagine being in Noah’s place? Here you are just going through life and all of a sudden, God asks you to do something like build an Ark. Not only will you get teased like crazy about it from all of your friends, but up to now, there has never been any rain, so what’s a boat? The Bible tells us that the earths supply of water came up from the ground. So not only does God call you to build an Ark in the middle of the desert, but for rains that nobody has ever seen. His friends and neighbors must have thought he was crazy.

What would you do in his situation? Be honest, would you be so embarrassed because people are laughing at you and not do what God told you to do, or would you build the Ark? Would you believe what God told you, or would you just dismiss the instructions as hearing voices in your own mind because it sounded so crazy? Have you ever been in this situation?

We’re entering times where we may find ourselves in this same predicament. The story of Noah and the Ark begins by telling us that the time frame was during a time of corruption and violence, does that sound familiar? These are the times that we may just find ourselves being called on to do something radical for God. The questions become, A. Are we listening? B. Are we willing?

Sometimes God calls us to do something very major and specific, but most of the times it’s something as simple as spreading the Word of Jesus Christ and His salvation. Are you willing to answer the calls spelled out in the Bible, even if it means being mocked? Are you willing to evangelize to everyone you know so they will have the chance of becoming saved, or avoid it because of a little embarrassment? Give it some thought and prayer, then get out there and be a Noah.

Let’s all be grateful for the opportunity of being teased and ridiculed. It just means that we’re doing our job, and that we believe in God enough to not care what the world thinks. Love to you all, and have an amazing day.

 

 

 

An update.

Posted: August 17, 2019 in Thoughts on God

Hello everyone! Just a few quick thoughts on this God-given Saturday. I would love to see our readers posting comments and prayer requests. There’s a tab on the top of this site where you can post your prayer requests, or you can post them in the comments section of any post. You can also email me at michaelsanderson1@yahoo.com if you don’t feel like making it public. Any of these methods will work fine. Have an amazing-day.

If Satan wrote the Bible

Posted: August 17, 2019 in Thoughts on God

THE DEVIL’S BEATITUDES

If the devil were to write his beatitudes, they would probably go something like this:

1. Blessed are those who are too tired, too busy, too distracted to spend an hour once a week with their fellow Christians – they save me the effort of trying to keep them from God’s blessings.

2. Blessed are those Christians who wait to be asked and expect to be thanked – its pretty easy to keep them from working for God.

3. Blessed are the touchy who stop going to church – they are my missionaries.

4. Blessed are the trouble makers – they shall be called my children.

5. Blessed are the complainers – I’m all ears for them.

6. Blessed are those who are bored with the minister’s mannerisms and mistakes – for they get nothing out of his sermons.

7. Blessed is the church member who expects to be invited to his own church – for he is a part of the problem instead of the solution.

8. Blessed are those who gossip – for they shall cause strife and division – that pleases me.

9. Blessed are those who are easily offended – for they will soon get angry and quit.

10. Blessed are those who do not give their offering to carry on God’s work – for they are my helpers.

11. Blessed is he who professes to love God but hates his brother and sister – for they shall be with me forever.