Study: No safe level of alcohol consumption

From the BBC News:

A large new global study published in the Lancet has confirmed previous research which has shown that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption.

Conclusion: Although a professor says that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drink, because he lives only for this life, Christians have eternal life and desire to be filled with the Spirit. Drinking has no benefit or attraction, therefore.

See these posts made here on TFR on the subject of alcohol, as well as links on the WiseBible site.

#alcohol #drinking #health #addictions #vices

The Pain and Tears

The pain and tears
Of all man’s years
Were met at Calvary,
Where Jesus bled,
His wounded head
For all to see.

Man without sin,
God’s will within
Was there fulfilled;
In death alone,
Before the Throne
Pure blood was spilled.

His hands were nailed,
His side assailed,
By him we’re free;
He gives the call
Of life for all

#poetry #Cross

Great because of the dead?

From Roy Davison’s Old Paths website, I found Michael Cole’s Virtual Tour of Pompeii. I’m reading all the slides, with valuable and interesting information, with photos. Here’s an example: Slide 49: “Tombs:”

Outside the city walls, elaborate tombs were built along the road entering the city, here and on the opposite side of Pompeii. These monuments to dead citizens were pretentiously placed to impress visitors to the city.
This was likely a common practice in the first century. We have record from Matthew 23:27-28 that Jesus warned, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
To use the tombs of dead men to demonstrate how great a city was in the Roman Empire was a foolish display when the city was filled with lawless and unrighteous men and women.
After seeing on these tombs the inscriptions about men who thought their lives and accomplishments would always be remembered, Mark Twain wrote in 1869 in Innocents Abroad, chapter 31, “The Buried City of Pompeii,” that it was saddening to think that he, too, would likely be completely forgotten or misidentified by future historians.

Wikipedia often has a list of notable people for its entries to towns and cities. Is this not something similar to the tombs lining the roads to Pompeii?

May this slide serve as a powerful reminder that it is not our deaths that will make us prominent in the eyes of God, since all must die, but rather our lives lived before him and our walk with him, as humble souls redeemed by the blood of Christ, that will determine our entrance into the heavenly city.

Let us not worry so much about what is written on our tombstones, but if our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Have you checked to see?

#tombs #ancientworld #death

Relevant spirituality

The modern view of spirituality is reflected in this quote pulled from a fellow’s blog: “Whether we believe in God is not relevant in honest spirituality.”

On the contrary, honest spirituality comes from faith in God and recognizing that he is Sovereign and Savior. It is not an amorphous body of inner meditation, but a mind centered on Jesus the Christ, based on the facts of the eternal purpose.

If there is no God, spirituality is but another name for the physical firing of neurons that have no meaning and lead to nowhere.

The New Testament provides wonderful descriptions of who and what is spiritual. We do well to ponder and understand them so that spirituality becomes a true facet of our relationship with the God who is the great I-AM.


You Are My Lord

Lord, put me in spiritual blinders to see
What needs to be done in front of me,
Without a glance at what others do,
For each must answer as servant to you.

Lord, keep me from judging my brother’s work,
And let me not my own labor shirk;
My field is small, and short is my row,
But you are my Lord who will cause it to grow.

by J. Randal Matheny 2021-03-08

#poetry #labor #work

Your Truest Self

By J. Randal Matheny

With God you can be your truest self,
No need to hide, for he sees all;
No thought or feeling escapes his sight;
He knows your mind, desires your heart.

Once you have opened up to Heaven,
Your life among men can then be whole;
The fear of love can be replaced
With selfless kindness learned from above.

Only when I love the Lord
With all my soul and strength and life,
Can I love others as I should
And freely bless with Jesus’ gift.

#poetry #love

Speak, Speak, Then Speak Again

By J. Randal Matheny

Fair topic of talk is today’s weather,
The rain, tornadoes, cold and heat,
And, mostly for men, in sports whether
This team or that will win the meet.

Then comes chat about dramas and series,
Movies, actors, and famous folk,
Jobs, economy, political theories,
Cars and clothes, the inevitable joke.

But talk of hope and life beyond
The grave? The spirit’s deepest need?
Of faith and works, and how to respond
To Jesus Christ with urgent speed? Continue reading

#eternity, #poetry

He’s truthful

It’s sad when brethren speak KJV language in the American South. It’s inexcusable when they do it to a foreigner. Here’s what one European fellow said on an alternative social media site, after getting an electronic translation (I’ve not corrected his writing):

I never understood why we use a very old english when we talk about God. Maybe it is to keep the knowledge of God only to certain people who Know and to keep distant other. I think we should all speak a clear and understandable language. That is why I hate KJV.

In a way, when you speak KJV language to somebody else, you become a broker of spiritual truth.

Remind you of 1 John, does it?

#truth #KJV #getreal #read1Cor9

Quote on mission, church, faith

Found this quote in an ancient (2004) email:

One who receives this Word, and by it salvation, receives along with it the duty of passing this Word on. Where there is no mission, there is no Church, and where there is neither Church nor mission, there is no faith. —Emil Brunner (1889-1966)

Archeological digs as I did in my email can sometimes turn up a treasure.

#mission #quotes

What did Jesus write on the ground?

Remember the only time that Scripture records that Jesus wrote something? It was when the adulterous woman was brought to him as a test.

They asked this to test him. They wanted to find a reason to bring charges against him. Jesus bent down and used his finger to write on the ground. When they persisted in asking him questions, he straightened up and said, “The person who is sinless should be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he bent down again and continued writing on the ground. Jn 8.6-8 GW.

No one knows what he wrote, of course, since the text does not tell us.

But might Jeremiah 17.13 provide a tantalizing clue?

O Lord, the Hope of Israel, all who abandon you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in dust, because they abandon the Lord, the fountain of life-giving water (GW).

The Hebrew text is a bit problematic, so that’s more reason not to be dogmatic.

Maybe, just maybe, the Lord was writing names in the dust, to “write off” his opponents. The idea in Jeremiah’s verse is judgment, where those who abandon the Lord will be destroyed.

Whatever Jesus was writing on the ground, we can be sure that, at that moment, it was nothing positive.

#Jesus #speculation #Jeremiah #writing

Who gets named in the story?

Names are extremely important in Scripture. So it would seem to carry meaning that, in the story Jesus tells in Luke 16, the rich man is not named, but the poor man is.

The man whom all society knows and respects goes nameless and remains so in the eyes and plan of God. The man who is despised for taking up space on the sidewalk — God knows and publishes his name.

Is this not an example of what the Lord said to Moses in Exodus 33.17?

The Lord said to Moses, “I will do this thing also that you have requested, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”

But we just can’t leave good enough alone, can we? So interpreters gave the rich man a name: Dives, from the Latin word for “rich man.”

Does the naming not miss the point of the story?

What do you think?

#rich-man-and-Lazarus #Luke #names

The sacrifice of Christ

The sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross deserves constant study and reflection on our part. His death is at the heart of our faith. Paul said he preached “Jesus Christ, and him crucified” 1 Cor 2.2. We can never neglect studying and speaking about what the Lord did exactly in giving his life for us.

He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. 1 Jn 2.2 NLT.

John here uses a word often translated “propitiation.” NLT translates it as “the sacrifice that atones;” NET, as “atoning sacrifice.” One definition describes the word this way:

Propitiation is the biblical doctrine embodying the concept that the death of Christ fully satisfied the demands of a righteous God in respect to judgment upon the sinner.

Many often connect it as well with the satisfaction of God’s wrath toward sin and sinners, so that he may be both “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” Rom 3.26 ESV.

The Old Testament, of course, provides the background for atonement. God determined a national day for it, Lev 16. Sin must be dealt with. Eventually, in the fullness of time, Jesus dealt with it “completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time and eternity” (AMPC).

Not only is his atoning sacrifice complete, but it is inclusive and far-reaching as well: for the sins of all the world. When we add in the time factor, that his sacrifice applies to all people in all eras of the world — “A death took place as payment for the trespasses committed under the first covenant” Heb 9.15 EHV — we begin to get an idea that the sacrifice of Christ was the central event of history and is the main point of our faith and proclamation.

And we begin to get an idea of the importance that God places upon our fulfillment of his grand mission in the world, to proclaim this message to all who can have no hope of redemption except in the sacrifice of Christ.

#propitiation #atonement #sacrifice-of-Christ

So that God can make us faithful to his Word

Someone included this request in an online prayer: “Make us faithful to your Word, that we may bring your life to the waiting world.”

How can God answer this prayer to make us faithful to his Word?

  • When we study the Word daily in order to know God and obey his commands.
  • When we rightly divide the Word and become approved workers in his sight.
  • When we teach the plan of salvation, including faith and obedience, according to the New Testament.
  • When we put away human creeds, traditions, and theologies, in order to remain within the confines of Scripture.
  • When we give up human names and denominations to be God’s united people.
  • When we live according to the model he left us for faith, practice, mission, and life in Christ.
  • When we separate from the world in order to show the glory of Christ in us.
  • When we search for and accept the full truth of the gospel, in order to reject false gospels.
  • When we commit ourselves to sincere and intense love of our family of faith, for which we were purified.

What other points might you add, so that God can make us faithful to his Word and bring his life to the world through us?

#faithfulness #Bible

Merry Christmas to all

A merry Christmas to all our friends,
Who think of Jesus in a manger.
Let us therefore make amends,
Prepare for him to come again.

#Merry-Christmas #second-coming #poetry

Ready We Stand

Lord Jesus, Light of all the world:
John told the people to prepare,
The apostles preached the urgent word:
The Kingdom is near, and in the air
You come to take your people home.
Ready we stand to hear your welcome.

#poetry #second-coming