Nehemiah’s last request

Nehemiah’s last request was an OMG moment, but not like the frivolous, contemptuous and hollow way people use it today.

His last request reveals his first desire – the result of seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and a yearning to receive the grace of its king. Such is the reason why his request should be ours (Matthew 6:33).

“… Remember me, O my God, for good!” (Nehemiah 13:31 – NKJV)

We could be remembered by God for a lot of things, to put it lightly. What, though, wouldn’t be so light would be the negative things our Creator could so easily bring to mind. Thank God for his listening ear and intentional “memory loss” through the blood of Christ (Jeremiah 31:33-34; Hebrews 10:11-12, 16-17).

To be remembered by God for the good we have done is a holy desire and a mindset of the finite seeking the infinite. We should have it! But we must remember a simple principle that goes along with Nehemiah’s godly cry – we must be about our Father’s business of doing good and serving in such a way that we give him plates of food, cups of water, rooms of charity, clothes of comfort, visits of edification, and medicines of healing to think about (Matthew 10:40-42; 25:34-36; 1 Timothy 6:17-19, Acts 10:34-35, Luke 6:33-35, Galatians 6:10; 1 Peter 3:11, Hebrews 13:13-16; 1 Corinthians 15:57-58).

“For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward his name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” (Hebrews 6:10 – NKJV)

Bible class questions for Deuteronomy 21

Some of these questions are meant to have answers straight from the text while other questions are meant to encourage discussion of the text.

Questions:

  1. What was the first required step if a dead body was found in the promised land? (Deuteronomy 21:2)
  2. After the cow was sacrificed, what were the elders of the city required to do, and why? (Deuteronomy 21:6-9)
  3. In relation to this described situation and remedy, what do you believe was the underlying principle of God’s command? (Deuteronomy 21:9)
  4. How were the captive women to be treated if chosen by a man of Israel? (Deuteronomy 21:11)
  5. Did these foreign women under consideration have any rights if a divorce took place? (Deuteronomy 21:14)
  6. In relation to the previous question, what was the alternative in the other nations around Israel?
  7. Did law or love govern inheritance rights in the land of Israel? (Deuteronomy 21:17)
  8. Is this “death penalty” approach to children meant to have been used on teenage temper-tantrums? (Deuteronomy 21:20)
  9. What New Testament author connected Jesus’ crucifixion to the curse of God mentioned in Deuteronomy 21:22-23?

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The warmth of charity

My wife has a first-cousin battling stage 4 liver cancer. She’s a fighter, but she’s human. What I mean by that is her treatments take a toll on her physically. Part of the toll effects her ability to fulfill her job responsibilities.

Because of this, the family and friends of my wife’s first-cousin have planned a few fund-raising events to help financially and emotionally. Yesterday (5/18/2019) included one such event … we held a carwash in which 100% of the donations went directly to help with her various needs – and we were blessed to continuously wash cars, trucks and vans of all sizes, up to two vehicles at a time, for nearly 6 hours!

Hear something like that and you might think we had a hugely successful local and social-media push or that we had lots of personal friends and family to come support the effort; and while it’s true loving people stopped because of what they heard on the radio or saw on their phone or because they personally knew us and were acquainted with the cause (I noticed not a few vehicles with cancer related décor) – the amazing thing to me was Continue reading

Heart-less comments about the heartbeat law

Want to see the true heartless colors of some of America’s most celebrated “celebrities” when it comes to the way they view human-life within a woman’s womb? Just ask them how they feel about Alabama’s new heart-beat/abortion law. Continue reading

#youknowme

Answering Jehovah’s False “Witnesses” on equating Jesus to Michael the archangel

The “kingdom hall of the Jehovah’s Witnesses” assert Jesus the Christ and Michael the archangel are the same being, but the Bible says it’s a bad assertion!

One of the quickest arguments used to promote the idea is a dishonest handling of 1 Thessalonians 4:16. The argument says: Continue reading

Bible class questions for Deuteronomy 20

Some of these questions are meant to have answers straight from the text while other questions are meant to encourage discussion of the text.

Questions:

  1. In the face of numerous enemies on the battlefield, who’s responsibility was it to encourage the people? (Deuteronomy 20:2)
  2. What “positive” exemptions dismissed a man from serving in Israel’s military? (Deuteronomy 20:5-7)
  3. What “negative” exemption dismissed a man from serving in Israel’s military? (Deuteronomy 20:8)
  4. What was the first avenue of action Israel was to seek if war brought them to a city that existed outside of Canaan’s borders? (Deuteronomy 20:10-11, 15)
  5. How many nations was Israel called to declare a “holy war” against? (Deuteronomy 20:17)
  6. Was God commanding Israel to be a bunch of “tree-huggers?” (Deuteronomy 20:19-20) What was the point of such a command?

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When it comes to clothing, parents need to think for their children

The following is a verbatim conversation that took place between my young daughter and myself:

  • My daughter: Mom wants me to see if you think these shorts are long enough.
  • Myself: No, I think they’re too short.
  • My daughter: I don’t think.
  • Myself: I know, that’s why I do your thinking for you.

After thinking about it, she saw the humor in my rebuttal. But however humorous it may sound, the point is still serious … when it comes to clothing, parents need to think for their children.

The time of year is upon us when the heat of the sun seems to magically shrink clothes faster than a wool sweater in a clothes-dryer set on high-heat! But propriety, modesty and decency isn’t measured by Fahrenheit, Celsius or Kelvin. They’re measured by respect for self, respect for others and respect for God.

So parents, it’s our responsibility to help our children navigate the waters of moral apathy, relativism and ignorance by being involved in their life (whether they want us to be or not), which includes helping them to learn how to be comfortable in their skin without showing it off.

When it comes to your kid’s wardrobe, think for them … but that’s taking for granted you’re able to think for yourself when it comes to a Spirit-minded outfit.

“My son, hear the instruction of your father, and forsake not the law of your mother:” (Proverbs 1:8 NKJV)

Answers and Solutions

In a few ways, answers and solutions can be one-in-the-same … but in other ways the two are very different from one another.

Answers can be like opinions – we all have them, but the answers may not necessarily solve the problem. This is because, like opinions, answers can be wrong. Thus the need for proper solutions.

But the thing about solutions is they aren’t as easy to follow-through with as coming up with answers tends to be. They can be down-right challenging!

Take for example the time Jesus gave a solution to sin while talking about the danger of adultery and the sanctity of marriage: Continue reading

Do not become denominational by avoiding denominationalism

A call to avoid denominationalism within the church is righteous because it’s the calling of God (John 17:20-21; 1 Corinthians 1:10).

But the danger in some attempts to answer that call comes when the determining factor becomes the echo of men and women and not the voice of God.

For instance, the church today, in our goal of avoiding denominationalism, may actually become denominational by:

  • requiring a certain translation of the Bible or condemning others for not using a certain translation.
  • insisting that certain topics not be publicly addressed from “the pulpit” on certain days because the denominational world is talking about or recognizing them.
  • being upset at how many worship services a sister congregation offers on Sunday (which is a different topic from the acts of worship being offered).
  • avoiding any imagery of the cross or other “denominational appearances” in connection with the furniture or layout of the church building (steeples, crosses on communion trays, presence of kitchens, etc.).
  • using “Church of Christ” in the place of “Christian” in reference to our identity within the religious world.

Simple fact of the matter is when it comes to avoiding denominationalism I believe it can be done because God desires it, but in our attempts to avoid such we can become the very thing we wish to avoid if we do not carefully examine our motivation for supporting or withdrawing from certain actions we take as the church.

The doctrine of God’s church must rest strongly upon the foundation delivered some 2,000 years ago (Ephesians 2:19-21; 1 Peter 4:11; Jude 1:3), but the “doing” of God’s church must not become pigeonholed into the behavior of one certain culture or even one certain decade, and this can be done without coming at the cost of the readiness of mind displayed by the one certain century who received the revealed will of God (Acts 17:10-12).

A failure to see this is a failure to comprehend what the restoration movement was and should still be about, and that’s about avoiding denominationalism without becoming denominational.

For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23 NKJV)

A failure to obey is not necessarily due to a failure to explain

If you are anything like me, when it comes to personal or public work, you have probably put hours upon hours into studying and thinking about a biblical topic in order to find a way to explain it in such a simple, understandable and honest way that someone who holds a contrary position would agree with the avenue of evidence and change his or her position on the subject.

Throughout my years of living life as a Christian I have felt the urge to convince others of what I know to be an uncontradictory position of truth numerous times; even to the extent that it caused me great grief and anxiety. Experience and a greater understanding of responsibility has led to a much less burdened heart. By this I do not mean I have quit studying, attempting to create bridges of better communication, or trying to help others better understand that biblical truth does exist (2 Timothy 4:2). I’m saying I now understand that a failure of proper obedience is not necessarily due to a failure of proper explanation.

For example, Jesus told his disciples that in their lifetime they would experience great times of turmoil and personal cost and direct challenges to their faith from religious and political leaders (Luke 21:10-12), and he also said: Continue reading

Bible class questions for Deuteronomy 19

Some of these questions are meant to have answers straight from the text while other questions are meant to encourage discussion of the text.

Questions:

  1. What does the tense of the word “when” in verse 1 say about the mindset of Moses when it comes to these instructions? (Deuteronomy 19:1)
  2. What does the existence of these refuge cities say about God? (Deuteronomy 19:2-3)
  3. What does the language of verse 6 say about the emotion of anger? (Deuteronomy 19:6)
  4. What does Moses’ mentioning of “future cities” in verses 8-9 say about God’s promises? (Deuteronomy 19:8-9)
  5. According to verses 11-12, who was not allowed to seek refuge in the identified cities? (Deuteronomy 19:11-12)
  6. How, do you think, were the elders of the cities of refuge affected by God’s instructions ? (Deuteronomy 19:11-13)
  7. Who were the “men of old” responsible for setting up the landmark system Moses referenced? (Deuteronomy 19:14)

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Doubting Moses equates to challenging Jesus

Some “Christians” doubt Moses wrote the Pentateuch. They prefer to give credit to unknown authors who added sentences here and paragraphs there. When you do the math the result is bad theology!

Undermining the scriptural authenticity of the past by default undermines the scriptural authenticity of the past-future. In other words, if an individual is unable to posses the ability to trust the creditability of the historical scriptures then how can one trust their proclaimed future prophecies? I mean, if one is a Christian then the reliability of the Messianic prophecies are more than a little important!

The simple fact of the matter is doubting Moses equates to not only challenging what we believe about Jesus – it challenges Jesus! And that’s a challenge (on more than a theological level) that I’m not interested in issuing.

No doubt about it, when it comes to faith in Jesus the Christ, the Bible’s ancient GED program (Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy) taught by Moses will take a person further than many modern-day professors and their theological PhD’s from universities.

“For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote about me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” (John 5:46-47 NKJV)

Bible class questions for Deuteronomy 17

Some of these questions are meant to have answers straight from the text while other questions are meant to encourage discussion of the text.

Questions:

  1. Why was offering an unhealthy animal considered an abomination to God? (Deuteronomy 17:1)
  2. Why do you think God required the witnesses/accusers of the idolatry to be the persons who threw the first stone? (Deuteronomy 17:7)
  3. Why was an emphasis placed on the Levites and priests being the individuals who should settle disputes? (Deuteronomy 17:8-9)
  4. Why was such a strong action required to be taken on people who not accept the priest’s decision? (Deuteronomy 17:12-13)
  5. Do you believe it’s a coincidence the first characteristic of a king reigning over Israel mentioned is that he was to be chosen by God? (Deuteronomy 17:15)
  6. What was the first condition listed in relation to the king and Moses’ Law? (Deuteronomy 17:18)

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Upcoming movie release: Unplanned

A seemingly powerful movie about the misinformation, misconceptions and mistake of abortion is set to be released in theaters.

The movie, which is titled, “Unplanned”, revolves around the experience of a “Planned Parenthood” employee who was climbing the company’s corporate ladder until she experienced something that would dramatically change her convictions and understanding of the abortion process.

The employee’s name is Abby Johnson. An interview with Mrs. Johnson was published in the February 2010 issue of “Think” magazine (a Focus Press publication associated with Apologetics Press). I kept this issue specifically because of the interview with Mrs. Johnson.

Below is a YouTube linked preview of the movie.

Bible class questions for Deuteronomy 16

Some of these questions are meant to have answers straight from the text while other questions are meant to encourage discussion of the text.

Questions:

  1. Other than “unleavened”, what other word was used to describe the bread Israel was to eat during this feast? (Deuteronomy 16:3)
  2. After reading verses 3, 4 and 8, it is clear no leaven was allowed, but why? (Deuteronomy 16:3-4, 8)
  3. When you think about the Feast of Weeks’ connection to Israel’s slavery in Egypt, why do you think their offering was to be of a free-will nature? (Deuteronomy 16:10)
  4. What emotion was meant to characterize the mood during the Feast of Weeks? (Deuteronomy 16:11)
  5. Was anyone meant to be left out of the Tabernacle celebration? (Deuteronomy 16:14)
  6. What condition were the hands of the men who appeared before God during the three feasts supposed to be in? (Deuteronomy 16:16)
  7. What if the giver was not wealthy? (Deuteronomy 16:17)
  8. What was the fruit of a harvest sowed with a bribe? (Deuteronomy 16:19)

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