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Posts Tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality’

Challenging Misconceptions:
How are you doing on this life’s top mission and purpose to find, follow, and live in and live out an enduring faith in God?

People were made in God’s image to have the opportunity to become increasingly like God, who is known through Jesus the Son of God, who is God, and reveals God.

The air craft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) a...

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God is knowable, yet unknown by many.
God is truth, but often obscured by so-called facts.
God is love, though misunderstood due to worldly misguided love.
God is wise, despite lofty specks of dust unwisely perceiving foolishness.
God is righteous, even as accused of  unrighteousness by people who do evil.

Have you found God despite the war of ideas to designed to obscure truth?
Have you located love of God, though life fosters hatred and misplaced love?
Have you uncovered the ultimate wisdom, despite lesser wisdom’s appeal?
Have you sought Jesus’ righteousness, even as one’s own ways seem right?
Have you pursued knowing the knowable God, and yet must continue chasing?

Have you allowed your own strongholds against God to be liberated by the only Savior able to liberate one’s soul?

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (ESV):

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience,  when your obedience is complete.

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"The Blue Marble" is a famous photog...

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Acknowledging our incomplete understanding of heaven and its’ ordinances, while looking forward to Jesus’ reign on earth by God’s power, we ask in the Lord’s prayer for God’s will to be done on earth as in heaven, understanding God is holy and heaven far exceeds earth.

Job 38:33 (ESV):

33  Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth?

Matthew 6:9-10 (ESV):

9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

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Bible Genesis Creation Account

Courtesy of CreationOpia, the Bible Genesis Creation Account has been studied for thousands of years, as mere mortals desire to understand further the mystery of how God Created Our Universe. Until Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools and technologies were available, our paradigm on how to understand the account recorded in Genesis 1 & 2 was limited. The Bible Genesis Creation Account presentation shown here steps through the Bible verse by verse, and challenges the reader to view Our Universe’s formation through a new lens. Thought provoking questions are asked along the way. The desire is that readers will find this new perspective refreshing and enlightening.

To download, click the Bible Genesis Creation Account link for the Presentation in PDF format. Alternatively, view the Presentation At SlideShare at http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/bible-genesis-creation-account

Bible Genesis Creation Account 1st

To download, click the Bible Genesis Creation Account link for the Presentation in PDF format. Alternatively, view the Presentation At SlideShare at http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/bible-genesis-creation-account

Bible Genesis Creation Account 2nd

To download, click the Bible Genesis Creation Account link for the Presentation in PDF format. Alternatively, view the Presentation At SlideShare at http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/bible-genesis-creation-account

Bible Genesis Creation Account 1st 2nd

To download, click the Bible Genesis Creation Account link for the Presentation in PDF format. Alternatively, view the Presentation At SlideShare at http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/bible-genesis-creation-account

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presently unknown fungus on an Ash log

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When analyzing God’s miracles, one wonders if sometimes God uses keen scientific knowledge to accomplish the results. God can change matter, yet God may choose to use simpler natural means. God had Moses place a specific log into bitter water to make it sweet. The 2011 Physics article about the berry that makes bitter food taste sweet challenges us to wonder whether God used a scientific means to transform bitter water into sweet water. Did God leverage specific knowledge of what made the water bitter, to put in biological agent/s to permanently counteract that bitterness?  As scientists continue to learn more over the decades, centuries, and millennia, it’s possible greater scientific insights will emerge to inform speculation as to whether certain miracles showcased in the Bible were achieved by God leveraging science & nature knowledge, or instead due to God simply using his intervention powers to change nature. Faith, trust, and turning to God makes all the difference under either scenario, since God can act using a variety of techniques. After God counteracts the bitter water, God assures his people at that same location, that if they observe his commands & statutes and do what is right in God’s eyes, that none of the diseases that afflicted the Egyptians would afflict them. At first glance, what would bitter and sweet water have to do with diseases? It was not until thousands of years later, that a more advanced understanding of diseases & viruses & bacteria emerged with modern scientific knowledge. God making that statement at this location suggests a possible linkage to biological processes to transform bitter water into sweet water. Let’s move beyond these speculations, since God is mysterious and powerful and did not reveal this to us specifically. At an abstract level, God healed the bitter water by making it sweet, showing his care and protection for his people. God offered an extended level of care and protection from diseases, which could prematurely end a person’s life or increase life’s bitter struggles. God’s timing in making that promise after transforming the bitter water into sweet water, serves to reinforce God’s ability to fulfill his promises. Do you take advantage of the protections God offers through his promises, and also through the tools science provides?

(1) Exodus 15:23-26 (ESV):

23 When they came to Marah,they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. 24 And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 And he  cried to the  Lord , and the Lord showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the Lord made for them a statute and a rule, and there he  tested them, 26 saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.”

(2) Researchers uncover secrets of ‘miracle fruit’, September 27, 2011 by Bob Yirka,
http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-09-uncover-secrets-miracle-fruit.html

(3) Holman Bible Dictionary on Diseases, http://www.studylight.org/dic/hbd/view.cgi?number=T1622

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Shelves of perfumes

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Many wear fragrances everyday such as deodorant, scented clothes, perfumes, and colognes, or exude the a-la-natural fragrance. Let’s likewise make a habit of sprinkling on Christ’s fragrance daily, to be encouraging to those who follow the Lord, through our knowledge and living and spreading of the way.

2 Corinthians 2:14-17 (ESV):

14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.

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An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating Mark 4:3...

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The Parable of the Sower shows some people start in the faith and then fall away. Obstacles to remaining faithful include family, possessions, and one’s own life too. Jesus directs followers to closely examine discipleship’s cost, to be prepared to pay, rather than fall away. Life has challenges. Jesus points out these challenges for us to successfully face them directly head-on rather than have us stumble due to being caught off-guard.

Luke 14:25-33 (ESV):

25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

Luke 8:4-8 (ESV):

4 And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. 6 And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. 8 And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.”  As he said these things, he called out,  “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

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Gold

God granted Satan permission to afflict Job for a time as a test, leading many later to find encouragement from how Job handled the situation. Job’s friends incorrectly interpreted Job’s affliction as a sign of his guilt, and applied their wisdom and knowledge to make their case against Job. While their views were flawed, we can learn about their views compared to revealed truths elsewhere in scripture to help us correct similarly mistaken perspectives that are often assumed without carefully consulting God’s word. The question ‘Can a man be profitable to God?’ is asked with an implied answer of ‘No’. Should the implied answer be Yes? God’s word is profitable. God’s people play a critical participative role in spreading God’s word. God’s word is good for teaching, reproof, correction, and righteousness. Scriptures show many prophets like Elijah and Elisha, leaders like David and Moses, and disciples & apostles like Peter & Paul who are profitable to God’s mission. People are profitable to God through furthering God’s purposes, spreading God’s word to reach the lost through the gospel, and helping God to bring people from error to righteousness according to God’s plans. When Job’s friend says ‘Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself’, there is an implied ‘only’ at the end of the sentence suggesting an individual’s wisdom only benefits the individual and not God and not others. It is true that if you are wise, it benefits yourself, and the lack of wisdom similarly harms oneself. Wisdom also has the power to benefit others and God’s purposes too. God is willing to give more wisdom to followers who ask in faith without doubting. Why? Reason suggests the increased wisdom enables believers to be more helpful and profitable inline with God’s purposes.

Job 22:2 (ESV):

2 “Can a man be profitable to God?
Surely he who is wise is profitable to himself.

2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV):

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God  may be competent,  equipped for every good work.

Titus 3:8 (ESV):

8 The saying is  trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.

Proverbs 8:35-36 (ESV):

35  For  whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, 36 but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death.”

James 1:5-6 (ESV):

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

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The centurion exhibited the three guides of (1) faith, (2) love, and (3) wisdom in his request with Jesus. The Three Guides Work Together

*  Wisdom: The centurion exhibited WISDOM by sending people Jesus would most likely listen to in the request to grant the healing.

*  Love: The centurion exhibited LOVE for his highly valued servant by seeking Jesus to heal his servant once he learned about Jesus.

*  Faith: Jesus marveling at the centurion’s great FAITH shows the centurion’s request was deeply rooted in faith.

Luke 7:1-5 (ESV):

After he had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2 Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. 3 When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, 5 for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.”

Luke 7:6-9 (ESV):

6 And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. 7 Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. 8 For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 9 When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”

Next Steps:

View The Three Guides Presentation on Wisdom, Faith, and Love:

Alternatively, go to the SlideShare site at http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/the-three-guides-wisdom-faith-love to view The Three Guides Presentation on Wisdom, Faith, and Love.

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You can also download the presentation at this Three Guides Download link.

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Steam turbine rotor produced by Siemens, Germany

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Knowing we are to seek first the Kingdom of God and the righteousness of God, and that the Kingdom of God consists of power rather than talk, what are we to learn about of the power of the Kingdom of God? Is it the power to change our heart’s motives? Or, the power to change our thoughts from focusing on worldly things to the things of God? Or, is it the power to transform us from a life of hatred to care for others, even those commonly held as enemies? Or, is it the power to perform miracles, which are really fulfilled by God? Is it the power of influence on people’s beliefs? Is it the power faith has in helping people to trust God and do the right thing even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles? What do you think is referenced here as the Kingdom of God’s power?

1 Corinthians 4:9

20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.

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Bible with Cross Shadow

Bible with Cross Shadow: Image by knowhimonline via Flickr

Peace in our fast-paced complex interconnected world is welcome at an individual level. What is required for us to have this peace? God must be pleased with us. What is required for God to be pleased with us? With faith, seeking God, without turning back, it is possible to please God. What kind of nourishment is required to do that? The Spiritual nourishment Christ provides. Is partaking of that nourishment sufficient? Yes, sometimes.  When is it insufficient? When  partakers purposely pursue sin like idolatry, grumbling, desiring evil, sexual immorality, and testing God. When is it sufficient? When people remain in their faith, properly following Christ’s guidance as a new creation born again.

Luke 2:11-14 (ESV):

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is  Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14  “Glory to God  in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

1 Corinthians 1:21 (ESV):

21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.

Hebrews 11:5-6 (ESV):

5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

1 Corinthians 10:1-5 (ESV):

1 For I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same  spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

1 Corinthians 10:12-13 (ESV):

12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

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K2 in summer.

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Think of the world’s wisdom and God’s wisdom as two mountains. Even the world’s highest peak is like a tiny hill compared to God’s mountain. Be wise. Scale mountains. Know the limits of the heights of mountains you scale. The ultimate mountain to scale is God’s.

1 Corinthians 2:6-8 (ESV):

6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

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Dr. Schreiber of San Augustine giving a typhoi...

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Jesus, the Great Physician, came speaking truthful messages God the Father provided. God provided the Bible and his Son Jesus, so we would know and speak the truth about God, and use the scriptures properly, guided by the Holy Spirit of God. Even with all this revelation, many understand God incorrectly. How could those with improper understanding know enough to be wise and keep silent? All people supposing to know God must be willing to search the Bible scriptures to test their understanding and to investigate what they hear from those who perhaps know better. Those who know better play a role to inform, challenge, and stretch their listeners to become mature in their knowledge of God, obedience to God, faith in God, and love for God. Without proper understanding, faith is shallow, love is misguided, supposed knowledge is deception, and obedience risks hypocrisy. With proper understanding, faith is deep and enduring, knowledge is nuanced and wisely applied, obedience reflects a new spirit, and love is fruitful and fulfills the law.

Job 13:4-5 (ESV):

4 As for you, you whitewash with lies;
worthless physicians are you all.
5 Oh that you would keep silent,
and it would be your wisdom!

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Moses Pleading with Israel, as in Deuteronomy ...

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What is best for us is not what God permits but rather what God desires. God permits our fall, but desires our salvation. God permits our sin, but desires our righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ. God permits our stubbornness, yet desires our repentance. God permits out hate, yet desires our love. God permits our foolishness, yet desires wise and loving decisions. God permits us to act in ways deserving judgment and justice, yet God prefers us to pick the path of mercy and forgiveness available through his resurrected Son.

Mark 10:2-9 (ESV):

2 And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” 5 And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. 6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

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