Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

TNBS 4/13/10

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Psalms 3:5,6
I Cor 2:9,10
Proverbs 3:5,6
Daniel 1:3-16
II Sam 14:14
Ezekiel 16:6
John 14:27
John 14:2
Phil 4:4-8
Proverbs 24:17,18
Isaiah 1:18
Joshua 1:9
I Peter 3:15,16
I John 4:4
II Cor 5:7

What is your favorite verse?
Live what you believe today.

TNBS 3/30/10

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Who are you? ______
There is one thing I know, and this is it: ______
I doubt or I often wonder about ______
I can count on ______
I am loved because ______

How do you define “truth”?
By example, by what it’s not…
Truths are either temporary or positional (permanent).

Ephesians 1:4
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love
Ephesians 1:5
he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—
Ephesians 1:13
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
Ephesians 2:6
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
Ephesians 2:19-22
19Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Ephesians 4:13-15
13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.

How do we find truth? By maturing, growing in Christ. By pursuing learning and “attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

Review your answers.

Does who you are change?
Does who you count on change?

Consider this, because of your acceptance of Christ as your Savior, your positional truth does not change. Christ will always be the same. As you live, this truth will be challenged, but His truth will remain.

Where you are and who your are may change temporally, but your positional existence will always be as a believer seated with God.

TNBS 3/16/10

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Read from:
Genesis 1, verses 1 and 2
John 1, verses 1 and 2
John 3, verses 16 and 17
Romans 10, verses 9 and 10

Write down your answers to these questions.
Who is God?
Who is Jesus?
How are you saved?
What happens when you die?
What is the church?
What do the communion elements (the bread and cup of grape juice/wine) represent?
What do you believe about scripture?

You have just documented your personal doctrine. Every religion and denomination, Christians and otherwise, follow a doctrine – a set of beliefs that define how its followers live and view the universe and spirituality. You have now defined your spiritual view, and should strive to confirm that what you believe matches God’s teachings in His Word. You can compare your views with those of your own denomination and with other major denominations online. This is important in discovering whether you are really following a teaching that you believe and one that obeys God’s Word.

TNBS 3/9/10

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This week’s Bible Study was held at Senor Toro’s restaurant in Buna, as Mr. and Mrs. Hargrove were away on vacation in celebration of their 30th wedding anniversary. The Bible Study gang wishes them the very best on their trip and thanks Senor Toro’s for hosting our meeting.


Each year we start off with big plans and big resolutions for accomplishing big things. Losing weight, reading more, spending time with family and friends, and getting finances in order are just a few. We enjoy the winter months and try to get started on losing all of those holiday pounds we put on and maybe get to spend some time with our families at home since it’s too cold to get outside. The dieting dies off a couple months into the new year, especially when the Easter candy comes around, long after we’ve forgotten our commitments to bonding with our families. Summer rolls around and time at the lake and beach, along with other various vacations, replaces all of those year-end appreciations of what life has offered, and this state of oblivous continues until November’s Turkey Day arrives again.

Where does this leave our culture? Wallowing in a carelessness that shrugs off a beautiful world granted each human being to enjoy for his short existence here on Earth.

What gives?

In an environment of fast food, impulse buying, text messaging, and on-again off-again relationships, accepting life for what it’s worth and showing simple thankfulness is becoming a thing of the past.

Living a Spirit Life

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Excerpted from CARM.ORG – “In order for truth to be defined properly, it would have to be a factually and logically correct statement.  In other words, it would have to be true.  But, perhaps we could look further at truth by determining what it is not.  Truth is not error.  Truth is not self-contradictory.  Truth is not deception.  Of course, it could be true that someone is being deceptive, but the deception itself isn’t truth.

In relativism, all points of view are equally valid and all truth is relative to the individual.  If this were true, then it would seem that this is the only truth relativism would have to offer.  But, the problem is that in reality, relativism isn’t true for the following basic reason.  If what is true for me is that relativism is false, then is it true that relativism is false?  1) If you say no, then what is true for me is not true and relativism is false.  2) If you say yes, then relativism is false.  Relativism seems to defy the very nature of truth; namely, that truth is not self-contradictory.”

Living a Spirit filled life,  means living in truth,  standing firm,  letting love guide you.


Joh 14:6 NASB  Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

 John 3:14 (NIV) [Jesus:] “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up.”

 John 6:40a (NIV) “For my father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life.”

 John 6:29 (NIV) Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

 Proverbs 14:12 (NIV) There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

 Ephesians 4:17-24 (NIV) So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off the old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Ephesians 2:1-3 (Phi) You were spiritually dead through your sins and failures, all the time you followed this world’s ideas of living, and obeyed the evil ruler of the spiritual realm, who is indeed fully operative today in those who disobey God. We all lived like that in the past, and followed the desires and imaginings of our lower natures, being, in fact, under the wrath of God by nature, like everyone else.

 Galatians 5:16 (NIV) So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

 Phi 4:9 NASB  The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

 Col 2:8 NASB  See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

 Gal 5:1-26 NASB  It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.  (2)  Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you.  (3)  And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.  (4)  You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.  (5)  For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.  (6)  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.  (7)  You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?  (8)  This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you.  (9)  A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.  (10)  I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view; but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.  (11)  But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished.  (12)  I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves.  (13)  For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  (14)  For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”  (15)  But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.  (16)  But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  (17)  For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.  (18)  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.  (19)  Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,  (20)  idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,  (21)  envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  (22)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  (23)  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  (24)  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  (25)  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.  (26)  Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.

 Psa 71:1-24 NASB  In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge; Let me never be ashamed.  (2)  In Your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; Incline Your ear to me and save me.  (3)  Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come; You have given commandment to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress.  (4)  Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the grasp of the wrongdoer and ruthless man,  (5)  For You are my hope; O Lord GOD, You are my confidence from my youth.  (6)  By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb; My praise is continually of You.  (7)  I have become a marvel to many, For You are my strong refuge.  (8)  My mouth is filled with Your praise And with Your glory all day long.  (9)  Do not cast me off in the time of old age; Do not forsake me when my strength fails.  (10)  For my enemies have spoken against me; And those who watch for my life have consulted together,  (11)  Saying, “God has forsaken him; Pursue and seize him, for there is no one to deliver.”  (12)  O God, do not be far from me; O my God, hasten to my help!  (13)  Let those who are adversaries of my soul be ashamed and consumed; Let them be covered with reproach and dishonor, who seek to injure me.  (14)  But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more.  (15)  My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness And of Your salvation all day long; For I do not know the sum of them.  (16)  I will come with the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your righteousness, Yours alone.  (17)  O God, You have taught me from my youth, And I still declare Your wondrous deeds.  (18)  And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.  (19)  For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You?  (20)  You who have shown me many troubles and distresses Will revive me again, And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth.  (21)  May You increase my greatness And turn to comfort me.  (22)  I will also praise You with a harp, Even Your truth, O my God; To You I will sing praises with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.  (23)  My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You; And my soul, which You have redeemed.  (24)  My tongue also will utter Your righteousness all day long; For they are ashamed, for they are humiliated who seek my hurt.

TNBS 10/20/09

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John 17:1-19
Jesus prays for His followers.
Jesus prays for the world as a whole.
Luke 22:39-46
Jesus prays for Himself.

“Open” video by Rob Bell

Don’t ask God to feed someone who’s hungry, if you have plenty of food.
Prayer isn’t a formality, we should pray unceasingly. Prayer is meditating, reflecting, listening…
Prayer is tapping into the same energy that created the universe.

When God created, He enabled His creation to do likewise. The Creation is an ever-continuing process in which we continue His work by filling the earth with more of the same. Through prayer we have the power to speak life, to create, to share the blessings of God and the wonders of His creation. Often we ask why God doesn’t answer our prayers. Why doesn’t He? Will we ever really know?

Maybe not.

There are many times we will be hurt – many times we will face situations we don’t understand. However, God eternally promises us peace. He offers us the grace to accept His will in our lives and in the world around us.

What are some realistic things that we can do to help others with an understanding of prayer and an understanding of God?

We must all learn to listen. Without taking the time to just stop and pay attention to who God really is, we will continue to miss out on His reality. Why do we brush aside opportunities to encounter others for Christ? It takes a boldness to step out and reveal the love that God so openly exposes to us.

God’s relationship with us is not intended to be a series of chance encounters, our spirituality should be intentional, purposeful, and meaningful. As Christians we need to listen and and learn or we’re missing out on all that He has to offer us. He has the answers if we will just open up our hearts and receive what He is offering.

TNBS 10/13/09

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Tonight’s Bible Study begins with Rob Bell’s “Shells” video, produced as a part of the Nooma series.

So much of our life we spend moving, yet the world is still passing them by
In the book of Mark, Peter tells Jesus that others are looking for Him, to which Jesus responds, “Let’s leave.”

Jesus doesn’t do everything.

He keeps moving to teach and reach more people. His destination at the time was Jerusalem. Along the way He did what He could, but He could not do everything. He had to said no because He had already said yes to something else.

The world had plenty preconceived ideas for what He should be doing, but they were not what He knew He should be doing. He went against the expectations of the crowd to pursue His ultimate goal.

“A saint is someone who wills the one thing.”

If your God-given energies are not focused, you will get pulled off track, but if you stay on the one track your were destined for you can do the most good. Sometimes the enemy of the best is the “good.”

Rob conveys a story of his family at the beach. His boys run along the beach picking up fragmented seashells. For some time this continues until the family spots a starfish floating in the water. One son begins to run into the water to grab it, but quickly returns to shore. His brother and parents cheer him on to go back and get it so he charges back in twice more, but never quite makes it to the starfish before returning. When asked why he chooses not to catch the starfish, the young boy replies, “Because my hands are full of shells!”

How often do we become so busy picking up the petty, broken pieces of treasures that life has to offer that we miss the true rewards? Are we too busy with what we feel is important to realize what is really our goal? Have you ever gotten consumed with doing good, when there are greater things that need to be done?

God has a plan, a way of life, for each of us. He knows what we require as far as time to ourselves, time helping others, and time working for the kingdom, but we seldom go by His schedule. Without a focus on His will and His plan, we risk burning out and become useless altogether. God’s plan for us has our ultimate good at the forefront, but we pass it up for what we feel is needed at the time. We may be causing more harm than good, and may be losing the best.

We may be losing the best, by pursuing the good.

There are many, many things in everyday life contending for your focus. Do you what God’s plan is for you? What are you saying “yes” to now that may be keeping you from His primary purpose?

You have a specific purpose in this world, a specific calling, that you accept as a Christian to fulfill His Great Commission in your field of interests. Nurses, teachers, construction workers, welders… everyone has a way to live out His plan right where they are – a plan that they may be the only one capable of fulfilling. Let God use you in what you’re passionate about to serve His kingdom, rather than your own.

Let go of your broken seashells – your menial, humdrum, everyday patterns, and let God show you how to make the ultimate affect on this world. Let Him ignite you with the passions that will take you the farthest in life. Reach out and grab hold of His plan, letting go of your own.

John 7:1-9

Jesus went around Galilee, staying away from Judea on purpose because they wanted to kill Him. The time had not come for that to happen.

John 7:10-24

When the time came for Him to enter Judea, He confronted the issues of the people. By arriving at the correct time, He was able to serve the most good.

There are times when we need to pass by opportunities we think are right in order to arrive at the place God has for us to be.

Go for God’s best for you. He has unimaginable riches and blessings for your life, if you will only let go of the the broken pieces and the less-than-His-best pursuits that so easily take up your time.

TNBS 9/8/09

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Write down these words, one per line:

Now read:
John 7:38
38 “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

Finally, add to your list:

When was the last time you felt anger?
Who were you last rude to?
When did you last make a conscious effort to show love to someone?
On a scale of ten, how much hate do you have in your life?
When did you last feel joy?
On a scale of ten, how much peace do you have in your life?
What do you fear the most?

How much of your life do you spend feeling dead?

Reflect on your answers. Can you see evidence of “streams of living water” flowing from within you? What does your answer mean for you and what course of action should you take to improve – whether improving from not having much living water or simply striving to get even better?

Which word’s response gives you the most anxiety? Strive to let His living water in the days ahead. Trust in His ability to see you through your most angry, fearful, and hate-ridden moments, while giving Him due credit for the joy, love, and peace-filled times. Let His life replace the dead, empty life that this world has for us.

Go with Christ, and let living water flow from you!

TNBS 8/25/09

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How many verses can you think of regarding love?

How about fear?

1 John 4:18
18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

What affect do those references have on your interpretation of this verse? How do the two work together?

While there is only one true love described in the Bible, there are different kinds of fear. The fear of God being one of reverence, while fear of evils in our world or fear of death are emotions that result from uncertainty toward dangers and the unknown. The apostle John wants us to know through this verse that in God’s perfect love we can find a blessed assurance that no problem or situation is too great for Him to handle.

Romans 8:15
15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Although fear and worry will come at times, our adoption as sons of God through the sacrifice of Christ serves to show us that our Heavenly Father cares for us and will see us through our troubles. We just have to believe in and on His ability to take care of us.

Matthew 6:27
27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

1 Corinthians 10:13
13No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

Trust the One who is the very definition of love (1 John 4:8). In Him, fear has no place.

TNBS 8/18/09

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Bible Study Goes Green

Genesis 1:28a
28God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”

We as humans have been issued a decree to be fruitful and to subdue. Fruitfulness in this verse is separated from “increasing in number,” which is the way we usually tend to interpret it. What then does “fruitful” imply?

Consider plants: They grow from a seed, produce leaves and fruit, and eventually die out. Scientists would have us to believe that the earth formed of its own accord, diversifying by some complex method of chance, but why would a plant produce fruit, which serves no purpose in the life of the plant itself? What good is their fruit if it does not keep them from dying?

God’s design does not involve any creature solely serving its own purpose; the intricate inter-workings of the Creation are innumerable. Every plant uses nutrients from the land to It only follows that at the close of those six incredible days God would instruct His ultimate creation, man, to do likewise – live to benefit the rest of the earth. As plants spend their span of existence producing fruits to feed God’s creatures and seeds to multiply, we are to focus our lives on passing on the blessings we receive from our Creator.

The verse also urges us to subdue…

(Under Construction)

TNBS 8/11/09

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1 Peter 1:13-16
13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

How do you hope?

It is a conscious choice to believe something is going to happen. We should place our belief in Christ’s grace and the ability of that grace to change us into a holy being, in His image.

God would not expect us to be holy if it were not a possible ambition.

1 Peter 1:17-21
17Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

How do we “live as strangers?”

Each day we should strive to live apart from the ways of this world to show the love and ways of Christ to others. We should let the power of a God who raised Himself from the dead guide us and strengthen us in our everyday lives.

1 Peter 1:22-25
22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For,
“All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.

Do you love your brothers and sisters in this world sincerely?

Let Christ’s love show through you, because we know that on our own we are easily pushed to do things we will later regret in anger.

1 Peter 2:1-6
1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
4As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— 5you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”

We may deal with rejection, but there’s more!

1 Peter 2:7-10
7Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone,[b]”[c] 8and,
“A stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”[d] They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

We are chosen by God. He has plans for us that we cannot begin to imagine, and His desire is to show us His plan as it unfolds in our lives.

2 Corinthians 4:7-12
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

2 Corinthians 5:1-21
1Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, 3because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
6Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7We live by faith, not by sight. 8We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
11Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

There is more to us as human beings than what’s visible. We are endued with gifts from God that He is eager to reveal in us.

As holy and chosen children of God, we have a mission to reach out to those around us. The promises He has for us are also for all mankind. You can be a witness for His Kingdom and make a difference, possibly even a difference no one but you can make.

Do not judge, but let the unfailing love of Christ guide you as you reach out to your world. Be Christ’s hands extended. Receive this comfort from others when it is offered. We all need more of God’s love and grace, and we should never forget our own need amidst efforts to give that love to others.


Through what we’ve been given, we are charged to reach out to our world in a ministry of reconciling the lost back to their Creator. Actively concentrate each day on making the best of every situation and living as God would want you to live. When things in life challenge you to either react badly or show the love of Christ, remember the price He paid for you and share His gifts with others.

You are designed for eternity. Live with that destination in mind.

TNBS 7/28/09

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What do you value most about Christianity?

Do you have peace?

Do you feel condemned?

Galatians 5:22
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Have you crucified your sinful nature today?

Psalm 103:2,3
2Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- 3who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases

Proverbs 14:30
30A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

Think back to a time when you doubted, when you felt that you lacked faith, when you had lost all of your faith. We don’t know what’s ahead, even if we think that we’re in control. We have to live in faith that life will continue as we expect it to. Every moment, we’re exercising a subconscious belief system that all is well and we are invincible.

However, when things do go wrong our faith is challenged and we must make decisions on whether we allow those trials to defeat us or whether we will press on and overcome.

Who do you know who has stepped away from the faith?

What affect does that have on you?

How can you hold tight to your faith when you see others fall away?

A story is told in which there was a professor of philosophy at a college who was a deeply committed atheist. His primary goal for one required class was to spend the entire semester attempting to prove that God couldn’t exist. His students were always afraid to argue with him because of his impeccable logic. For twenty years, he had taught this class and no one had ever had the courage to go against him. Sure, some had argued in class at times, but no one had ever ‘really gone against him’ (you’ll see what I mean later).

Nobody would go against him because he had a reputation. At the end of every semester, on the last day, he would say to his class of Cartoon of the legend 300 students, “If there anyone here who still believes in Jesus, stand up!” In twenty years, no one had ever stood up. They knew what he was going to do next. He would say, “because anyone who does believe in God is a fool. If God existed, he could stop this piece of chalk from hitting the ground and breaking. Such a simple task to prove that he is God, and yet he can’t do it.” And every year, he would drop the chalk onto the tile floor of the classroom and it would shatter into a hundred pieces. The students could do nothing but stop and stare. Most of the students were convinced that God couldn’t exist. Certainly, a number of Christians had slipped through, but for 20 years, they had been too afraid to stand up.

Well, a few years ago, there was a freshman who happened to get enrolled in the class. He was a Christian, and had heard the stories about this professor. He had to take the class because it was one of the required classes for his major and he was afraid. But for 3 months that semester, he prayed every morning that he would have the courage to stand up no matter what the professor said or what the class thought. Nothing they said or did could ever shatter his faith, he hoped.

Finally the day came. The professor said, “If there is anyone here who still believes in God, stand up!” The professor and the class of 300 people looked at him, shocked, as he stood up at the back of the classroom. The professor shouted, “You FOOL!! If God existed, he could keep this piece of chalk from breaking when it hit the ground!” He proceeded to drop the chalk, but as he did, it slipped out of his fingers, off his shirt cuff, onto the pleats of his pants, down his leg, and off his shoe. As it hit the ground, it simply rolled away, unbroken.

The professor’s jaw dropped as he stared at the chalk. He looked up at the young man and then ran out of the lecture hall. The young man who had stood up proceeded to walk to the front of the room and share his faith in Jesus for the next half hour. 300 students stayed and listened as he told of God’s love for them and of his power through Jesus.

In cases like this one, as well as the Biblical account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we are able to see that it is God who provides the answers to our struggles and protects us in times of danger, but we must take the first step and stand up for what we believe in.

In everything that you do, you should know how and why you are making the choices you’re making. If something isn’t working, you need to look into why you’re doing it the way you are. Perhaps there’s a better way.

Always know that God can direct you in the right way, His perfect way.


Be blessed and go with Christ this week. Know that as each Sunday, Wednesday, or even Tuesday night passes, that you are not attending church, but you are the Church. Live in His presence and know His peace.

TNBS 7/21/09

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Each night we begin in prayer.

Please remember to stay in prayer faithfully (Paul urges us to pray without ceasing). Prayer is our most intimate point of communication with God, and an essential part of a successful life in Christ.

Genesis 3:15 (Begin with verse one if the context isn’t clear to you.)

Jesus will crush (and has) the serpent’s head, though satan attempted to bruise His heel.

Matthew 3

John declares to the priests that they are as snakes, which the axe of judgment is in place to cut down. John is later beheaded.

Matthew 27:19-23

The priests of Jesus’ era coerced the people so well that rather than Barabbas, a terrorist of his time, seeing the punishment he deserved they assigned death to an innocent man. When asked what crime Jesus had committed, the people merely repeated their plea of, “Crucify him!”


This moment contains a monumental occurrence in Jewish life. When the veil was torn in the temple, the requirement of sacrifice to gain entrance to the Holy of Holies was done away with.


Each of these are defining moments in the life of Christ. From His role in Creation through His time on the earth He created.

What are the defining moments in your life? Where has your life been changed, enlightened, etc? Where have you seen God at work, making you into what He intends you to be?

What have been your “Aha!” moments?

How is the world around you affected by the changes in your life? There should be a change in the atmosphere of your world as you go through every day. We should be the kind of people that others around us see that they are held to a higher standard when we’re there, and they should see us in a way that they want to live up to that standard.

Compromising should never happen.

Our peers should be challenged by the lives that we live.


Questions following the Study:

Does the Bible describe satan’s fall from Heaven?

Isaiah 14

Although there is some question of whether verses 12 and onward are referring to Lucifer or Babylon, the passage applies to either (as evidenced by the narration in Revelation of the conflict of the dragon and his subsequential casting from Heaven.)

TNBS 7/7/09

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Luke 24:13-31

How often are we like the men on the road to Emmaus, who walked with Christ and yet had no knowledge of His presence? We walk our own ways through life. We may struggle; we may meet with great successes; however, we should all share in having Christ by our side as we walk along.

What did you think about while reading this passage?

Do you find it hard to focus on anything but the randomness of Jesus appearing to these two? Or were you perhaps simply captivated by the omnipresence of our Lord? Do you question how two disciples could be so very unaware that they were walking down the road with the King of kings? There are many ways to look at this story, but here’s one of the most important thought directions to take:

Are you watching for Christ to come back, or will you be caught just as unaware as these two men? It could be today or centuries from now, but the Bible warns us to remain constantly ready for His return. As movies like “2012” come around, we are reminded of just how close the end of time could be.

How did these men deal with Jesus?

Can you be sure that you’ve never had an experience like this in your life? Has Jesus passed through your life without you even noticing?

Or, have you patterned your life toward walking with Christ every day?

There are constantly situations in which we may be encountering the supernatural. The Bible instructs us to be kind to everyone we meet, as we never know when we might be ministering to angels without knowing it.

Do you ever wish you were walking closer to Jesus? Are you taking steps to make that a reality? We as believers can walk in confidence with God by our side, but that only happens when we choose to not give up on Him and make Him the focus of our lives.

How many times have you engaged in “excellent” conversation? (Philippians 4:8) Have you aimed to make your life what God wants it to be rather than what the world tries to make it?

As we walk through life, we should strive to live to be our very best. Life is difficult, and sometimes it’s caused by the people we’re walking closest to – our family and friends, but if we stay focused on God we can reach a place of realization of God like we’ve never imagined. We have control over what we make of our lives, so we pray that you will choose to make your life one of devotion to God.