Not a Sermon only a Thought

ksazma posted:

So after several days the good brother still hasn't posted the Qur'anic passage regarding those 72 virgins. He said he may have misinterpreted what he read so at the least he should have had no difficulty posting the passage unless he never saw it and was just parroting stuff he has no knowledge of. It would be beneficial to him to just admit that he was not honest in his statement.

Have you look up the word raisins in the quran that what many in your religion substitute with word virgins. Read your quran it's there. Are you ready to received your raisins?

Keith posted:
ksazma posted:

So after several days the good brother still hasn't posted the Qur'anic passage regarding those 72 virgins. He said he may have misinterpreted what he read so at the least he should have had no difficulty posting the passage unless he never saw it and was just parroting stuff he has no knowledge of. It would be beneficial to him to just admit that he was not honest in his statement.

Have you look up the word raisins in the quran that what many in your religion substitute with word virgins. Read your quran it's there. Are you ready to received your raisins?

Dude, I actually know what is in the Qur'an from cover to cover so you will need to come up with a different straw clutching approach. Since you know of this 72 raisins passage, do oblige us by posting it. Or you can do the honorable thing by admitting that you just tried to be deceitful when you stated that you read it in the Qur'an. 

cain posted:

Just read Proverbs 22:15

"Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him."

What utter nonsense is this?

Not surprise you don't understand maybe you should let ksazma take a whack at it to see if he can. Here how about this one, a few verses back.

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

ksazma posted:
Keith posted:
ksazma posted:

So after several days the good brother still hasn't posted the Qur'anic passage regarding those 72 virgins. He said he may have misinterpreted what he read so at the least he should have had no difficulty posting the passage unless he never saw it and was just parroting stuff he has no knowledge of. It would be beneficial to him to just admit that he was not honest in his statement.

Have you look up the word raisins in the quran that what many in your religion substitute with word virgins. Read your quran it's there. Are you ready to received your raisins?

Dude, I actually know what is in the Qur'an from cover to cover so you will need to come up with a different straw clutching approach. Since you know of this 72 raisins passage, do oblige us by posting it. Or you can do the honorable thing by admitting that you just tried to be deceitful when you stated that you read it in the Qur'an. 

Karma is really something is it?

ksazma posted:

Yes. Karma is a bitch and when you lie and is caught you are forever remembered not for the lie but for being a liar. In the future, don't be so lazy. Ascertain what people claim before pretending you actually read it.

I didn't lie about anything, I used what your teachers taught the young lads before the go off committing suicide. While dreams of celestial babes may motivate the impoverished Palestinian kids who blow themselves up on Israeli street corners, a number of the 9-11 terrorists were older and had known something of earthly delights.

Now to your question. The difficulty in determining what the quran has to say about virgins and such is establishing what the quran says, period. Translators vary widely in their rendering of the spare and often opaque text. For example, we find the following passage in a Web-based version of Islam's holy book: "Verily, for the Muttaqun or righteous, there will be a success paradise; gardens and grapeyards; and young full-breasted mature maidens of equal age; and a full cup of wine" (An-Naba 78:31-34). However, most other English translations, both online and in print, replace "full-breasted maidens" with some tame construction such as "companions." Inquiring further, we find that the Arabic word at issue is WakawaAAiba, which appears nowhere else in the quran. The French, less prudish in these matters, usually render it as something like des belles aux seins arrondis, "beautiful ones with rounded centers," so I think it's pretty clear what your prophet, or at least his stenographers, had in mind.

It's true ksazma that nothing in the quran specifically states that the faithful are allotted 72 virgins apiece. For this elaboration we turn to the hadith, traditional sayings traced with varying degrees of credibility to Muhammad. Hadith number 2,562 in the collection known as the Sunan al-Tirmidhi says, "The least reward for the people of Heaven is 80,000 servants and 72 wives, over which stands a dome of pearls, aquamarine and ruby."

A little hype from the marketing department, you may say. Fine. Let's return to the quran, your font of religious authority. Even if we leave out the racy detail and make allowances for metaphor, we're obliged to admit that Islamic heaven is a pretty rockin' place, with an emphasis on sensual pleasures. The provision of virgins in indeterminate quantities is alluded to at numerous points, and you know they're not just there to fluff the pillows. In fairness to your prophet, the physical quality usually attributed to the houris, as they're called, is "wide lovely eyes." The food, service, ambience, etc, are great. You're allowed to enjoy things the quran explicitly denies you on earth, such as alcohol, and you won't even get sick. "Wine delicious to those who drink it will neither dull their senses nor they will become drunk." Granted, the whole thing is skewed toward the male idea of a good time, a defect by no means confined to Islam. Were Muhammad to found a religion today, I'm confident that each female arrival in heaven would be assigned a comely stud who would provide pleasure and in addition hang the curtain rods the first time he was asked. Granted, also, the emphasis on virgins is a little weird. Think back on the first nights you've been party to. Was this your idea of great pleasure?) Still, you have to admit, heaven as Party Central sure beats the Christian idea of angels with harps.

Does this make Islamic cosmology "unsophisticated and juvenile"? Maybe. Oh, let's not be lame about this. Of course it does. But don't be too quick to judge. Christianity, after all, invented the idea of paradise in the first place. Looking at things from the point of view of a cynical materialist, which is the more outrageous proposition luring the proles with the promise of eternal life, or throwing 72 virgins into the bargain?

Have a great week dude.

I will address the things you mentioned in the post above but for now I wish to go on record by stating that even in that post you are lying when you stated that you "didn't lie about anything". You clearly asked on the preceding page if you "misunderstood the translation" suggesting that you read it with your own eyes. Now that is deceitful for a professed man of God. That is why I play it safe by declaring that I am not religious.

Keith posted:
cain posted:

Just read Proverbs 22:15

"Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him."

What utter nonsense is this?

Not surprise you don't understand maybe you should let ksazma take a whack at it to see if he can. Here how about this one, a few verses back.

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

22:6 is all well an good I can live with that. What I do have issue with is 22:15....when a child acts foolish, lay a beating on him. Not cool with me.

Foolishness is the result of a person misusing the intelligence God has given him. A fool uses his reasoning skills to make wrong decisions. The most basic type of foolishness is denying God’s existence or saying “no” to God (Psalm 14:1). The Bible associates folly with a quick temper (Proverbs 14:16–17), perverse speech (Proverbs 19:1), and disobedience to parents (Proverbs 15:5). We are born with an innate foolishness, but discipline will help train us in wisdom (Proverbs 22:15).

Proverbs 19:3 says that foolishness is counterproductive: “A person's own folly leads to their ruin.” Jesus in Mark 7:22 uses a word which means “senselessness” and is translated “folly.” In that context Jesus describes what comes out of the heart of man and defiles him. Foolishness is one of the evidences that man has a defiled, sinful nature. Proverbs 24:9 says, “The schemes of folly are sin.” Foolishness, then, is really the breaking of God’s law, for sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4).

Back to Proverbs 22:15 "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him."

Children are mischievous. The way children learn right from wrong is by their parents training them. A lesson is best learned by making mistakes and being punished by those mistakes. A good paddling along with correction drives the lesson home.

The child, who is punished for doing things he has been told not to do, learns quicker than if he is just talked to. It is a natural tendency for a child to misbehave. A loving parent will spank him for bad behavior, and he will learn to do better.

There is a phrase known to many of us "spare the rod, spoil the child" is a modern-day proverb that means if a parent refuses to discipline an unruly child, that child will grow accustomed to getting his own way. He will become, in the common vernacular, a spoiled brat. The saying comes from Proverbs 13:24, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” The Lord uses discipline to reveal our sin to us. This is also how parents reveal the truth of our need for a Savior to their children. When a child does not feel the consequence of his sin, he will not understand that sin requires punishment. The Lord provides a way to salvation and forgiveness through Jesus, but that means little to those who do not see their sin.

Furthermore, correction shows us that we are not above reproach and that we are accountable for our actions.

When it comes to our eternal destiny, one is either a fool, meaning he rejects the gospel of Christ, or one is wise, meaning he believes in Christ and commits his life to Him (see Matthew 7:24–27). The believer discovers that the gospel—what he thought was foolishness—is in reality the wisdom of God providing him eternal salvation.

Keith posted:
 

For example, we find the following passage in a Web-based version of Islam's holy book: "Verily, for the Muttaqun or righteous, there will be a success paradise; gardens and grapeyards; and young full-breasted mature maidens of equal age; and a full cup of wine" (An-Naba 78:31-34). However, most other English translations, both online and in print, replace "full-breasted maidens" with some tame construction such as "companions." Inquiring further, we find that the Arabic word at issue is WakawaAAiba, which appears nowhere else in the quran. The French, less prudish in these matters, usually render it as something like des belles aux seins arrondis, "beautiful ones with rounded centers," so I think it's pretty clear what your prophet, or at least his stenographers, had in mind.

It's true ksazma that nothing in the quran specifically states that the faithful are allotted 72 virgins apiece. For this elaboration we turn to the hadith, traditional sayings traced with varying degrees of credibility to Muhammad. Hadith number 2,562 in the collection known as the Sunan al-Tirmidhi says, "The least reward for the people of Heaven is 80,000 servants and 72 wives, over which stands a dome of pearls, aquamarine and ruby."

 

Now lets see what that passage really stated.

إِنَّ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ مَفَازًا

[But,] verily for the God-conscious there is supreme fulfilment in store

حَدَائِقَ وَأَعْنَابًا

luxuriant gardens and vinyards

وَكَوَاعِبَ أَتْرَابًا

and splendid companions well matched (16)

وَكَأْسًا دِهَاقًا

and a cup [of happiness] overflowing

Note 16 (Quran Ref: 78:33 )

For the above rendering of atrab, see surah 56, note 15. As regards my rendering of kawa’ib as "splendid companions", it is to be remembered that the term ka'b -from which the participle ka’ib is derived - has many meanings, and that one of these meanings is "prominence", "eminence" or "glory" (Lisan al-Arab); thus, the verb ka'ba, when applied to a person, signifies "he made [another person] prominent", "glorious" or "splendid" (ibid.) Based on this tropical meaning of both the verb ka'ba and the noun ka'b, the participle ka'ib has often been used, in popular parlance, to denote "a girl whose breasts are becoming prominent" or "are budding" hence, many commentators see in it an allusion to some sort of youthful "female companions' who would entertain the (presumably male) inmates of paradise. But quite apart from the fact that all Qur'anic allegories of the joys of paradise invariably apply to men and women alike, this interpretation of kawa’ib overlooks the purely derivative origin of the above popular usage - which is based on the tropical connotation of "prominence" inherent in the noun ka'b - and substitutes for this obvious tropism the literal meaning of something that is physically prominent: and this, in my opinion, is utterly unjustified. If we bear in mind that the Qur'anic descriptions of the blessings of paradise are always allegorical, we realize that in the above context the term kawa’ib can have no other meaning than "glorious [or "splendid"] beings", without any definition of sex; and that, in combination with the term atrab, it denotes, "splendid companions well matched" - thus alluding to the relations of the blest with one another, and stressing the absolute mutual compatibility and equal dignity of all of them. See also note 13 on 56:34.(Quran Ref: 78:33 )

That Qur'anic passage has nothing to do with any maiden much less any full breasted maiden so try again.

Regarding the ahadiths, I take some and leave some because like the Bible, the ahadith is subject to human errors. If the ahadith agree with the Qur'an, I am cool with it, if it doesn't agree with the Qur'an, I don't care for it. And there is no way that any 72 virgins for any man is going to agree with the Qur'an.

About Muslims not being allowed alcohol. In fact the Qur'an prohibits intoxicants which could include alcohol, drugs, etc. The drink mentioned in heaven is pure and does not intoxicate like the alcohols we have here.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالأَنصَابُ وَالأَزْلاَمُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

O ye who believe! intoxicants, and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination,- of Satan's handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper.

Keith posted:

Foolishness is the result of a person misusing the intelligence God has given him. A fool uses his reasoning skills to make wrong decisions. The most basic type of foolishness is denying God’s existence or saying “no” to God (Psalm 14:1). The Bible associates folly with a quick temper (Proverbs 14:16–17), perverse speech (Proverbs 19:1), and disobedience to parents (Proverbs 15:5). We are born with an innate foolishness, but discipline will help train us in wisdom (Proverbs 22:15).

Proverbs 19:3 says that foolishness is counterproductive: “A person's own folly leads to their ruin.” Jesus in Mark 7:22 uses a word which means “senselessness” and is translated “folly.” In that context Jesus describes what comes out of the heart of man and defiles him. Foolishness is one of the evidences that man has a defiled, sinful nature. Proverbs 24:9 says, “The schemes of folly are sin.” Foolishness, then, is really the breaking of God’s law, for sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4).

Back to Proverbs 22:15 "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him."

Children are mischievous. The way children learn right from wrong is by their parents training them. A lesson is best learned by making mistakes and being punished by those mistakes. A good paddling along with correction drives the lesson home.

The child, who is punished for doing things he has been told not to do, learns quicker than if he is just talked to. It is a natural tendency for a child to misbehave. A loving parent will spank him for bad behavior, and he will learn to do better.

There is a phrase known to many of us "spare the rod, spoil the child" is a modern-day proverb that means if a parent refuses to discipline an unruly child, that child will grow accustomed to getting his own way. He will become, in the common vernacular, a spoiled brat. The saying comes from Proverbs 13:24, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” The Lord uses discipline to reveal our sin to us. This is also how parents reveal the truth of our need for a Savior to their children. When a child does not feel the consequence of his sin, he will not understand that sin requires punishment. The Lord provides a way to salvation and forgiveness through Jesus, but that means little to those who do not see their sin.

Furthermore, correction shows us that we are not above reproach and that we are accountable for our actions.

When it comes to our eternal destiny, one is either a fool, meaning he rejects the gospel of Christ, or one is wise, meaning he believes in Christ and commits his life to Him (see Matthew 7:24–27). The believer discovers that the gospel—what he thought was foolishness—is in reality the wisdom of God providing him eternal salvation.

That is your foolish assumption. Hopefully you know that hitting a child is child abuse and you can end up in jail for doing so. Lets see if that Holy Ghost can poof you out of jail. Maybe someone should give you a good paddling so you don't lie in the future.

I cannot believe Mr Righteous believes in hitting a child. I have never laid a hand on my son even the times he made mistakes...the reason..I evolved. My son has never been inside a police car..never seen the inside of a police station..prison..nada. I on the other hand who was beaten when late for school..when making mistakes in school work, for losing my way home and for every dam reason the old folks came up with, saw the inside of a few cop cars...been in police stations a few times...thankfully never in jail.

Dam dude get with the program.

That is what happens when people get too religious. They tend to lose their ability to think clearly. This is also the case with some Muslims so I an not singling out the brother. We were always whooped back in Guyana and mostly because of that spare the rod line that the brother quoted. My kids are way better than I ever was and no one ever hit them.

The Privilege Corrupted

Romans 1:21-32

God has revealed Himself to mankind and provided all that is necessary for a relationship with Him. Yet many people foolishly refuse His offer.

By choosing to live without God, a person will spiral downward into sin and a skewed view of the truth. As ignorance overpowers the capacity for intelligent understanding, an ever-darkening heart develops. The individual hungers for something to fill his emptiness but fails to recognize that only the Lord can satisfy his longing.

Desiring to fill his spiritual void, the person will look for an idol to worship. It won’t be a statue of wood or gold, but rather something on which to focus his affections. “Idols” occupy a person’s passion, time, and energy; in today’s world, they often take the form of money, prominence, and relationships. The “worshipper” begins to indulge in earthly pleasures and desires, yet nothing can satisfy the emptiness. Eventually, as Romans 1:28 makes clear, the Lord will turn such a person over to a depraved mind—one that can no longer make right judgments.

Remember, the heavenly Father desires a relationship with us. He even gave His own Son to make this possible. It is man who rejects Him and begins the journey toward godlessness and emptiness.

Look around. Notice the manifold evidence that points to a holy, loving God who desires an intimate friendship with you. Don’t put off accepting His offer of relationship—the consequences of rejection are far too dangerous, and the benefits of saying yes are beyond what you can imagine (Eph. 3:20).

cain posted:

I cannot believe Mr Righteous believes in hitting a child. I have never laid a hand on my son even the times he made mistakes...the reason..I evolved. My son has never been inside a police car..never seen the inside of a police station..prison..nada. I on the other hand who was beaten when late for school..when making mistakes in school work, for losing my way home and for every dam reason the old folks came up with, saw the inside of a few cop cars...been in police stations a few times...thankfully never in jail.

Dam dude get with the program.

You're both laughable especially when you cannot comprehend what is being said scripturally. You both seem to paint a picture as though I or Christians for that matter hit our kids for every or anything they do. I 'll just leave you in your thoughts process.

Growing up I just had to be informed once with the explanation of the consequence of my action and even if I was tempted to test my parents the look my dad would give deterred my temptation.

I did get spank as a child for willful disobedience/rebelliousness. When I hit my tween and into adulthood my parents didn't had to worry about me. The values and correction I receives as a child mold me into the man I'm today. This principle was the key, Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

Hey bless is the man that never had to correct his child using the rod or place a child in timeout for anything and today that child is discipline as ever and respectful.

ksazma posted:
Keith posted:

 

Look around. Notice the manifold evidence that points to a holy, loving God ........

Evidence everywhere by the more than half the world's population living in abject poverty and oppression.

So tell me about this God in your quran, what is he doing about the people living in poverty today?

"Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones."

ksazma posted:
Keith posted:

The believer discovers that the gospel—what he thought was foolishness—is in reality the wisdom of God providing him eternal salvation.

That is only because the believer became foolish.

What is your understanding of word fool/foolish from the Bible perspective? Don't even bother...When the Bible uses the works fools it doesn't mean someone who's mentally deficient. It mean one who is morally depraved. That's what the Bible means when it used the word fool, "a fool has said in his heart there is no God".

Keith posted:
ksazma posted:
Keith posted:

The believer discovers that the gospel—what he thought was foolishness—is in reality the wisdom of God providing him eternal salvation.

That is only because the believer became foolish.

What is your understanding of word fool/foolish from the Bible perspective? Don't even bother...When the Bible uses the word fools it doesn't mean someone who's mentally deficient. It mean one who is morally depraved. That's what the Bible means when it used the word fool, "a fool has said in his heart there is no God".

 

The words in the Bible seem to be interchangeable. Anytime a question is asked we can never get an honest answer. Oh when he changed water into wine it wasnt wine as we know it...was just sweet drink. When we say in heaven they are treated to milk and honey we really mean Big Mac and a beer. The stone cast was not really a stone but a sponge.

Everything is a parable/fable...nonsensical words thrown hither and dither.

Perhaps when I call someone a butthead or ahole in the Political forum I really mean they are quite intelligent...hmmm.

Keith posted:
ksazma posted:
Keith posted:
Look around. Notice the manifold evidence that points to a holy, loving God ........

Evidence everywhere by the more than half the world's population living in abject poverty and oppression.

So tell me about this God in your quran, what is he doing about the people living in poverty today?

 

I don't need to my friend because I don't make statements like the one you made above. Islam teaches that everything is earned, not given. People tend to appreciate things more when they actually earn them. Even one's place in heaven or hell is earned.

That is why I am not in favor of using a public forum to post sermons. Maybe you should consider the hypocrisy of sermons.

The Power Within

Ephesians 3:14-21

Bertha Smith, a missionary to China, once pronounced some of the most discouraging words I’d ever heard: “Charles, I want to tell you that you’re as good as you’ll ever be. You’re as good as you’ve ever been, and you won’t ever be any better than you are.”

I had grown up believing a falsehood—that believers were to pour effort into turning their flesh around and doing right all the time. Thankfully, Bertha wasn’t finished. “God never intended for you to get better, because you can’t improve flesh,” she said. “But the Holy Spirit, who is living inside you, will enable and live through you.”

She was right. My flesh hasn’t changed one bit. But as the Holy Spirit releases His supernatural power in my life, I find myself going beyond what is inherent to the nature of man. And the indwelling Spirit intends to do the same with every follower of God.

Although the works of the Holy Spirit are many, four are basic to the life of faith: The Spirit illumines the mind, enabling believers to understand the things of God; He energizes physical bodies to serve the Lord; He enables the will to follow through on doing what is right; and He quickens emotions to feel and express the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).

Bertha Smith passed on an important truth to me: Flesh is insufficient. Only the Holy Spirit living inside us has the strength and wisdom to live out the Christian life victoriously. That’s why God gave us His Spirit, through whom we reap all the benefits of a righteous and godly life.

ksazma posted:
Keith posted:
ksazma posted:
Keith posted:
Look around. Notice the manifold evidence that points to a holy, loving God ........

Evidence everywhere by the more than half the world's population living in abject poverty and oppression.

So tell me about this God in your quran, what is he doing about the people living in poverty today?

 

I don't need to my friend because I don't make statements like the one you made above. Islam teaches that everything is earned, not given. People tend to appreciate things more when they actually earn them. Even one's place in heaven or hell is earned.

That is why I am not in favor of using a public forum to post sermons. Maybe you should consider the hypocrisy of sermons.

From observation, I mention this before, it's not just you but your fellow faith believers as well, whether if from the Bible or the articles I post your moto is to nitpick a line/sentence (just as you highlighted above) and make silly arguments that don't warrant a response.

Yet you responded which proves that that Holy Spirit you depend on so hopelessly is inadequate to help you. If you hope to have what you post swallowed up blindly like the church hopes you  will be sadly disappointed. GNI is not a church. It is a discussion board where dissent is welcome.

Releasing the Holy Spirit’s Power

Romans 8:26-27

God’s Spirit indwells believers at salvation, which means His power is available from that moment (Eph. 1:13). God created a simple way for us to access that strength every single day.

First, we must accept the truth that in and of ourselves, we are powerless to live out God’s will. No matter how capable we may be, our own strength and wisdom are insufficient. Sometimes Christians become prideful about the good they have done or the number of years they’ve been saved. Imagine how much more we could serve the Lord if we would humbly get out of God’s way and let Him work through us.

Second, we surrender our entire life to the guidance and governing of the Holy Spirit. In other words, we choose to conduct our spiritual walk—as well as our vocation, finances, family, and relationships—as God desires. His Spirit is not going to release supernatural power into a life that is continuing in rebellion.

Third, we exercise faith, which means demonstrating belief and trust in the Lord. Faith is the “switch” that releases the Spirit’s power. It’s like saying, “I believe You’ve got a plan, God, so I’m going to trust You to give me what I need in order to do Your will.” Then He will move heaven and earth to provide for your need, whatever it may be.

Merely memorizing and reviewing the steps isn’t enough. Instead, commit to these principles as a way of life. Get used to thinking, I can’t but God can— I’ll submit to His will because His plans are for my good and His glory. That’s the kind of life that overflows with the Holy Spirit’s power.

Keith posted:

 

First, we must accept the truth that in and of ourselves, we are powerless to live out God’s will.

 

Why then would God in His 'infinite wisdom' create a will that we are powerless to live out? Is God not able to know the capabilities of his creation and set realistic goals and objectives? We see executives excel at setting goals and objectives all the time. What are they doing right that God is unable to do? If Jesus came on earth roughly 2000 years ago and man has been living on earth for hundreds of millions of years, why did God wait so long causing all those people to not 'know' Jesus? For this question, my explanation is much more reasonable than yours. God has been providing His creation with guidance and sustenance from the first creature He created and will do so until the last one. He sends people at different times and to different places as the need arises. Nonetheless, feel free to box yourself into Paul's doctrine.

Confidence in Times of Distress

Psalm 46:1-11

“I’m out of here!” Most of us will feel like crying out this way at some point in life. When a demanding circumstance feels overwhelming, or when the pressure of the daily routine seems unbearable, a common reaction is the desire to escape. Whether the stress is related to a job, relationship, or other situation that seems too hard to handle, we want relief. So we decide we are walking out. Moving on. Heading for anywhere but where we are now.

The Father has a powerful truth for us: The way to handle stressful situations is to cease fighting against them and instead be at rest. To the psalmist, this meant being still and knowing God is truly God (Psalm 46:10 NIV). Jesus promises peace in the midst of trials when we let go of troubles and entrust them to His care. (See Matt. 11:28-30; John 16:33.) So, while human instinct clamors for escape, God calls us to draw near to Him. Then we can discover calmness of spirit as we absorb the truth of His Word.

Most of all, the Lord wants us to know who He is. As we believe the truth of His sovereignty (1 Chronicles 29:11) and accept both the absolute goodness of His plans (Jer. 29:11) and His deep, abiding love for us (Eph. 3:17-19), we will grow in our trust of Him. Then we will find it easier to be still and truly know He is God.

Our stress need not become distress. The better we understand our heavenly Father, the more we’ll be able to walk through circumstances with calmness (Phil. 4:7) and confidence (Jer. 17:7 NIV). This is our privilege as God’s children.

Bible In One Year: Psalm 119

Seek Spiritual Discernment

Proverbs 2:1-7

At one time or another, everyone feels confused, uncertain, or misled. When that happens, we can live victoriously and confidently only by possessing spiritual discernment—the ability to see life from God’s perspective. We need His help to distinguish between right and wrong, good and best, truth and error.

Each day we make many decisions—some trivial, others critical. The Lord doesn’t want us to form judgments based on mere appearance or human reasoning. But the world is so full of deceptive information that we, on our own, couldn’t know what to believe. And so God has given us the Holy Spirit to help us see the reality of each situation as He does.

We can fully trust the Lord with our relationships as well. Since He knows every person’s heart, the only way we can wisely interact with others is to be sensitive to the leading of God’s Spirit within us.

Although the Father gives each of His children the capacity for spiritual discernment, many Christians are unaware of it. They stumble through life, doing the best they can, but fail to use this wonderful provision. Others may not think they need it. They make choices according to their own knowledge and reasoning, never giving the Lord a second thought. Unless we cooperate with God in the development of His gift of discernment, it will lie dormant within us.

A discerning spirit begins with a humble, teachable attitude. If you’ve been handling decisions, situations, and relationships through your own wisdom, confess this to God. Then ask for His perspective and search His Word for direction. Your wisdom will grow, and discernment will protect you.

Swaggart used to say that he has a special relationship with God also. Actually he even bragged that because he is a Christian, he can only have one wife so he picked the best. This he was bragging while he was having sex with a different woman every night. But that 'relationship with God' was good for him. At a tune of one million dollar per day. While his relationship with God allowed him to swindle and have his sexcapades, those who actually gave him that money continue to live paycheck to paycheck. That is what it is all about. Preachers have no problem screwing people who allow themselves to fall prey to the ponzie scheme. 

 

The Basis for Discernment

Hebrews 4:12-13

Spiritual discernment is the ability to see life from God’s perspective. It requires that we know how He thinks and acts. The Bible is His unchanging, infallible revelation of Himself. However, the Lord doesn’t simply give us a list of facts about His character and ways. All throughout the pages of Scripture, He illustrates who He is and how He operates.

Although an ancient book, the Bible is in no way obsolete. Its stories may have taken place centuries ago, but its principles and applications are still relevant, offering discernment about situations and guidance for decisions.

God’s Word—which Ephesians 6:17 refers to as “the sword of the Spirit”— is active and piercing, like a surgeon’s scalpel. The words don’t simply sit on the page; rather, they penetrate our heart and judge our thoughts and motives. This convicting quality is why some Christians avoid reading the Bible. They prefer to live on a surface level but never understand why they react to situations the way they do. If we don’t want to keep making the same mistakes, it’s essential that we become discerning about ourselves. The way to do that is by approaching the Word of God with an open spirit. Then God will bring to light our hidden motives and unrecognized sins.

Spiritual discernment involves seeing not just circumstances but also ourselves from God’s perspective. Have you learned to embrace the piercing sword of Scripture, or have you avoided doing so because it makes you uncomfortable? Remember, whenever the Lord uses a surgical knife, His purpose is always to make us healthier.

ksazma posted:

Swaggart used to say that he has a special relationship with God also. Actually he even bragged that because he is a Christian, he can only have one wife so he picked the best. This he was bragging while he was having sex with a different woman every night. But that 'relationship with God' was good for him. At a tune of one million dollar per day. While his relationship with God allowed him to swindle and have his sexcapades, those who actually gave him that money continue to live paycheck to paycheck. That is what it is all about. Preachers have no problem screwing people who allow themselves to fall prey to the ponzie scheme. 

 

Ksaz, when Brother Keith is done with you he will cut and past the whole Bible on GNI website.

skeldon_man posted:
ksazma posted:

Swaggart used to say that he has a special relationship with God also. Actually he even bragged that because he is a Christian, he can only have one wife so he picked the best. This he was bragging while he was having sex with a different woman every night. But that 'relationship with God' was good for him. At a tune of one million dollar per day. While his relationship with God allowed him to swindle and have his sexcapades, those who actually gave him that money continue to live paycheck to paycheck. That is what it is all about. Preachers have no problem screwing people who allow themselves to fall prey to the ponzie scheme. 

 

Ksaz, when Brother Keith is done with you he will cut and past the whole Bible on GNI website.

Skelly, the brother can cut and paste all he wants but he will never be able to refute the observations you and I made because they are in black and white. Too bad the brother does believe in the courtesy of not turning a discussion board into Sunday school. He has never shown any inclination to have discussions unless if you support his sermons.

Questions in Times of Great Disaster

Isaiah 55:8-9

Whenever a great disaster strikes, legitimate questions spring to mind. Why does the Lord let such things happen? Couldn’t He have stopped this? Doesn’t He care? The magnitude of death and destruction caused by earthquakes, tornadoes, or floods disrupts our everyday thoughts and causes us to seek explanations for suffering.

Often the answers people come up with are based on their relationship with God. Those who know nothing of Him have no frame of reference for understanding how He works. Believers, on the other hand, have the Bible to guide them as they wrestle through these issues. But even then, the accuracy of one’s perspective is determined by his or her knowledge of God’s Word. Those with limited understanding may very well reach inaccurate conclusions.

We must guard against attempts at forcing the Lord to act the way we think He should. If He does something that won’t fit into the “box” we’ve devised for Him, we easily become upset, angry, or confused. God will never stay within the parameters we set for Him. Since we are mortal and sinful, we have a very narrow perspective and understanding of life. But our eternal, sinless, sovereign, and omniscient Creator sees and knows what we cannot perceive.

We want to be sure that our viewpoint of God’s role in natural disasters comes from the Bible, not from our own limited perspective. Scripture tells us of the Lord’s love, faithfulness, and wisdom. Whenever we cannot understand His ways, faith in His goodness must be our foundation.

Question for the good brother Keith. You stated that people cannot be saved by works but only by grace. You went on to explain that people who depend on works has no guarantee since they have no idea "how much is enough". Maybe you didn't in quite these words but you express them through your postings. Many Christians, especially preachers like to brag that they are saved because of grace and their acceptance of Jesus as the Christ. For those preachers like Swaggart who were exposed for doing wutliss things, what happened to that grace guarantee that they once bragged about and how did a guarantee became a NO guarantee. Once something is guarantee it should remain a guarantee right? Otherwise that guarantee was meaningless right? 

This is intended as a discussion, not a sermon. Thanks.

ksazma posted:
skeldon_man posted:
ksazma posted:

Swaggart used to say that he has a special relationship with God also. Actually he even bragged that because he is a Christian, he can only have one wife so he picked the best. This he was bragging while he was having sex with a different woman every night. But that 'relationship with God' was good for him. At a tune of one million dollar per day. While his relationship with God allowed him to swindle and have his sexcapades, those who actually gave him that money continue to live paycheck to paycheck. That is what it is all about. Preachers have no problem screwing people who allow themselves to fall prey to the ponzie scheme. 

 

Ksaz, when Brother Keith is done with you he will cut and past the whole Bible on GNI website.

Skelly, the brother can cut and paste all he wants but he will never be able to refute the observations you and I made because they are in black and white. Too bad the brother does believe in the courtesy of not turning a discussion board into Sunday school. He has never shown any inclination to have discussions unless if you support his sermons.

Brother Keith does not argue anything that he cannot quote from the bible where he can cut and paste. No logical argument outside the cut and paste. He is not allowed to think outside the box.

Answers in Times of Great Disaster

Deuteronomy 29:29

Almighty God reserves the right to reveal some things and conceal others. Although we may not know why natural disasters occur, the biblical truths we do know with absolute certainty allow us to trust the Lord even in times of great suffering. Because of the Bible, we can be certain:

God is in control (Psalm 103:19). Nothing in heaven or on earth is outside of His rule and authority. He does not react to events but sovereignly ordains or permits them to run their course. Although we cannot know for certain if He has sent a catastrophe or allowed it, we can trust in His goodness and wisdom.

The Lord loves people and wants them to be saved (John 3:16-17). Giving His Son for the salvation of the world proves without a doubt that He loves each person. This truth stands firm despite the fact that many reject the Savior. He cares for us, even when we can’t feel it or won’t accept it.

God works circumstances for His good purpose (Isa. 46:10). Though we can’t fully comprehend what He’s doing in each incident, every disaster is a wake-up call for humanity. God is alerting us to the need for repentance—so the lost can be saved and the saved can be revived to live totally for Him. The Lord wants to get our attention, and catastrophes open our ears to hear from Him.

The One who loves us perfectly is in full control, working everything out according to His plan. Knowing this should fill us with hope, even in the midst of crisis situations. The Lord promises to turn disaster to good for those who “are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

The Power of Corporate Prayer

2 Chronicles 20:1-30

When Jehoshaphat saw trouble looming, the first thing he did was turn attention to God and proclaim a fast throughout Judah. People came from all around to support their king in prayer (2 Chronicles 20:3, 2 Chronicles 20:13).

Sometimes we are too proud to ask others to pray for us. Jehoshaphat was a king, yet he didn’t put on airs of self-sufficiency. Instead, he admitted his army paled in comparison to the three forces united against him. He recognized his limitations and sought divine intervention. Though Jehoshaphat reigned over his subjects, he nevertheless called on them for prayerful support.

One of the wisest things we can do in the midst of difficulty is to engage the assistance of someone who knows how to talk to God. The body of Christ depends upon cooperation. When the people of Judah began to pray, God provided a solution through a trusted prophet. Jehoshaphat was humble enough to listen and wise enough to follow his directives (vv. 14-17). As a result, the Israelites were saved. The advancing armies turned against each other and destroyed themselves completely. Without shooting an arrow or drawing a sword, Judah’s forces suffered not even one casualty. Because their humble king listened, they witnessed the Lord’s remarkable victory (vv. 22-30).

We have to attune our ears to God’s voice in order to hear Him. Sometimes He speaks through people we would not choose to follow, and He often says things we’re not expecting to hear. But He will provide us with solutions to our problems if we are willing to heed His words.

The Symptoms of Discouragement

James 1:2-4

One of Satan’s most effective weapons is discouragement. The enemy knows that if he can destroy our courage, we’ll be ineffective in our attempts to accomplish anything for Christ. Let’s explore the downward spiral created by this destructive force.

One mark of discouragement is a divided mind. This underlying distraction affects every area and decision. No matter what you’re doing, it feels as if a dark cloud covers your entire thought life.

Discouragement also leads to the “blame game,” where it’s common to feel the need to point a finger at someone else. You may want to find fault with God because He has allowed painful circumstances in your life, or you may accuse others because of the way they treat you. Perhaps you yourself feel guilty for poor choices or past mistakes. My friend, blame is an empty activity. No healing or restoration ever came from trying to pin responsibility on someone else for the hardships in your life.

Anger is another common indication that a person is discouraged. When this occurs, bitterness may develop and finally become a spirit of vengeance. If you let anger grow and fester without resolution, it can easily turn into depression. Then resentment can act like a cancer that slowly spreads and invades every aspect of your life.

The traits described above aren’t what one would expect of a Christian, are they? However, they are all too evident in the church. Ask the Lord to search your heart for any trace of discouragement—and to eliminate its destructive power from your life.

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