Are You A Fool Like Me?

I’m sure it’s the little boy still hiding in my 57-year-old paralyzed body, but I enjoy trying to pull off a good April Fools Day joke on Mary. In our thirty-two years of marriage, I probably have a 75% success rate.

It can be a real challenge to carry out a successful April fools joke with ALS because I can’t speak so I have to attempt to fool her via email or using my computer’s (no inflection) robot voice (the only “voice” I’ve had for the last twenty years).

As I’m sure you know, April Fools Day and Easter (the day we celebrate Christ’s resurrection from the dead) fall on the same day this year. The two have not fallen on the same day since 1956.

Are Christians fools for believing that Christ was literally raised from the dead?

Read more: https://unshakablehope.wordpress.com/

Pray Without Ceasing: What Does it Mean?

What does it mean to ‘pray without ceasing’? Is that even possible? Many Believers have asked this question, perplexed at the command- because that is what it is, a command. We know that we are to obey God in all things, so how can we possibly ‘pray without ceasing’?

I think that we can all agree that it is impossible to physically pray without ceasing. By physical I mean lifting your voice to the LORD in prayer, raising your hands to Him, getting down on your knees to pray- you get the picture. There is no way that we can physically do it because then we would never get anything done. You cannot attend a lecture and concentrate on what the lecturer is saying if you’re too busy praying, you would not be able to have a conversation with your spouse if you were deep in prayer, neither would you be able to attend parent meetings if all of your time was devoted to prayer. These are just a few things you wouldn’t be able to do- I’m sure that you could think of a hundred more other things, but you get the picture, right?

However, the words ‘without ceasing’ may not mean what you think. The Greek word for ‘without ceasing’ is adialeiptos. It doesn’t mean non-stop like we may assume, but it actually means ‘constantly recurring’. This changes things, doesn’t it? Instead of trying to pray constantly, all the time and all day, what we can do is interrupt our moments with intervals of recurring prayer. Perhaps this idea of recurring prayer still confuses you, so I’ll break it down even further.

Continue: https://godinterest.com/2018/04/26/pray-without-ceasing-what-does-it-mean/

3 Steps To Show Someone You Love Them

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/133664315/posts/818

Be Careful How You Live – Because You Love Jesus!

https://learningfromgodsword.wordpress.com/2018/04/25/be-careful-how-you-live-because-you-love-jesus-2/

All We Need Is Love

1 John 4:21

And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

I love this simple truth. Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. This is sucha simple truth – yet it is such a huge command. If we say we love God – but do not show love toward others – we are lying – because God is love and if we are His children we will love others. The verse just before today’s verse says it this way – 1 John 4:20 – Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

So today – the simple truth and simple challenge is this – love one another.

Luke 6:31 – Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Romans 13:10 – Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Ephesians 4:2 – Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

1 Peter 4:8 – Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Colossians 3:14 – And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

1 John 3:16–18 – 16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

I could go on and on with passages about love. Let us go forth this day and this week and the rest of this is year – and love more! All we need is love!

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

Comment: https://raymcdonald.wordpress.com/2018/04/23/all-we-need-is-love-2/

It Is Finished – Tony Evans

https://thesonofgod.org/2018/04/08/it-is-finished-sermon-by-tony-evans/

Deep Exegesis in London

http://kuyperian.com/deep-exegesis-london/

Podcast – “Do You Have the Power?” (Acts 4:1-22)

https://bellatorchristi.com/2017/08/03/podcast-message-do-you-have-the-power-acts-41-22/

Be Heavenly Minded So That You’re of Earthly Good

~ T. D. Alexander:

“Meaningless! Meaningless! . . . Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless” (Eccl. 1:2)! So cries the author of Ecclesiastes as he attempts to make sense of this world “under the sun.”

Looking around, it’s easy to conclude that life is absurd.

We live in a world full of injustice. Evil people prosper; good people suffer.

We live in a world terrorized by death. Life can be snuffed out unexpectedly. Death comes to everyone; no one escapes.

We live in a world that throws the unexpected at us. Our inability to control our destiny adds to our sense of despair and hopelessness. For some in difficult circumstances, death can seem better than life itself.

While Christians aren’t immune to feelings of despair and hopelessness, faith in Jesus Christ lessens the pain of pessimism and despair. Faith in the resurrected Son of God gives us confidence to trust that this life is but the prelude to something more wonderful.

CITY TO COME

The Bible doesn’t present a vague, fuzzy picture of the life to come—although many Christians appear to be poorly informed about the future that awaits them. The apostle John’s vision of New Jerusalem abounds with symbolic reminders of how God will establish an eternal city on a renewed world, binding together heaven and earth (Rev. 21:1–22:5).

The author of Hebrews encourages us to look forward to the “city that is to come” (Heb. 13:14; cf. 11:8–1639–4012:22). The apostle Paul also believed in a future metropolis, contrasting the present city of Jerusalem with a “Jerusalem above” (Gal. 4:21–31). Importantly, Paul viewed himself as a citizen of this eternal city (Phil. 3:20). For this reason, he contrasted his present “transient” experience of life with the “eternal” life to come. To comfort and encourage Christ’s followers in Corinth, he wrote:

‎So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being ‎renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal ‎weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the ‎things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen ‎are eternal. (2 Cor. 4:16–18‎‎)

Paul understood well how a vibrant faith in the world to come can affects our lives in the present. It can be a source of deep strength when we face terrible challenges.

Focusing on the city to come also prevents us from being captivated by the ephemeral attractions of this present world. With good reason, Jesus warns his followers:

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt 6:19–21)

CITIZENS OF THE NEW JERUSALEM

Christians are often ridiculed for promoting a “pie in the sky when you die” mentality, especially when they speak of a future, eternal city. But such an outlook doesn’t reflect the teaching of the Bible. Jesus didn’t instruct his disciples to pray, “Take me to heaven,” but rather, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).

For those united to Jesus Christ, eternal life begins here and now, as does citizenship in the eternal city.

Jesus challenges his followers to pray and work for the spread of God’s rule, all the time looking forward in faith for the coming of the city of God. The latter should influence profoundly how we do the former.

  • We’re to live in this world as citizens of the world to come, influenced by its values and virtues.
  • We’re to exercise true humility, remembering that we have been redeemed from evil only by the grace of God and not by our own achievements or piety.
  • We’re to witness to an alternative worldview that promotes belief in a Creator God, highlighting the inadequacy of a purely materialistic view of human existence.
  • We’re to be peacemakers, reconciling those who are alienated, especially from God.
  • We’re to make disciples of Jesus Christ, extending God’s kingdom throughout the world through self-sacrificial love.
  • We’re to hunger and thirst after righteousness, caring for the oppressed and promoting justice for the benefit of the marginalized.
  • We’re to resist the powers of evil, arming ourselves for the spiritual battle that continues to rage until Christ returns.
  • We’re to consider ourselves exiles and pilgrims in “Babylon,” holding lightly to this life but living in this absurd and evil world in confident anticipation of all that God will yet do.
  • We’re to live holy lives, aiming for personal moral perfection and purity.
  • We’re to love others wholeheartedly, including our enemies, as an expression and outworking of our sincere love for God.
  • We’re to fulfill our creative capacity as home and city builders but ever recognizing the temporary nature of this present world.

Jesus Christ calls his followers to be kingdom laborers here and now. We labor with the confident assurance that Christ will return to address every injustice, vindicating and punishing as appropriate. Then, with the defeat of evil, God will establish his eternal city on a renewed earth.

Comment at: https://pjcockrell.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/be-heavenly-minded-so-that-youre-of-earthly-good/

When Will We Move Beyond the Basics? The Dumbing Down of the Church

https://chab123.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/when-will-we-move-beyond-the-basics-the-dumbing-down-of-the-church-2/