What are the glorious riches in Christ that Paul writes about?

What are the glorious riches in Christ that Paul writes about?

In writing to the church in the Greek city of Philippi, Paul commends the saints and thanks them for their support of his ministry. In closing, he assures them “my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) That’s a pretty bold statement and yet many Christians never think about the blessings that Paul is referring to. If they did, they would be full of joy every moment of every day even in the trials that come their way. Here is a partial list of those riches:

• Redemption from sin–the separation from God
• Salvation from eternal damnation and a promise of an eternity in the presence of God where there is no sorrow, pain or death
• Wisdom and understanding to make right choices
• Objective moral standards that bring about right relationships with one another and a fair and just society
• Peace, love, joy, kindness, patience and hope
• Self-restraint and guidance for life decisions
• Endurance, loyalty, perseverance
• Grace, healing, mercy and forgiveness
• Meaning and purpose for life…and much more

 When one considers the riches of being a child of God, the fleeting worldly pleasures pale in comparison. Paul knew what he was writing about. While he experienced all manner of pain, suffering, rejection, and imprisonment, he found that God continually met all his needs. He embraced the abundant riches provided through the death and resurrection of Jesus the messiah and kept his eye on the prize of eternal life with his heavenly father.

Would you like to know more about how you can inherit God’s riches by becoming his child and hence his heir? Click now to read about how you can become a Christian.

 

 

 

How can anyone be sure that the God of the Bible really exists?

How can anyone be sure that the God of the Bible really exists?

If the universe with its trillions of galaxies and an unknowable number of stars and the irrefutable laws of physics and mathematics which control and govern it are not enough evidence to convince you that God exists, then look in the mirror and consider the complexity and supernatural intelligent design of your physical being.

Your eyes alone are two miracles that defy understanding in human terms. So too is your DNA, your brain, and your ability to reason. Where did that come from? And where do you think you get your sense of right and wrong, good and evil, and your longing to make sense of it all? A creator God, the God who reveals himself in the Bible, is the designer, the author of all that is. Everything we see around us are the evidence of the Creator, God. That’s how you can be sure God exists. The evidence is overwhelming. God has revealed himself in the creation, nature, the Scriptures, in Jesus Christ, and, most specifically, in human life. When we understand that we, each one of us, is made in the image of God, we can begin to know this God of the Bible.

Beyond observation, the best way is to get to know the God of the Bible is to ask God to reveal himself in your life in some tangible way. Then wait and see how he reveals himself to you. Talking to God and listening to him is what is known as prayer. This may seem too simple, but millions down through the ages have discovered that prayer is the best way to encounter God.

In the New Testament letter to the Christians in Rome, Paul, an apostle of Jesus wrote this about God:

”for his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, and the things that have been made. So, they (people asking your question) are without excuse.”

Romans 1:20

Clearly, God is ever-present, and we can experience and know him if we take time to seek him. The choice to believe that God exists is up to you. More importantly, believing that Jesus, God’s son, paid the penalty for your sin is an important first step in obtaining the promises that this God of the Bible has made to all of us–peace in this life and eternity with Him. The decision is one of the mind and the heart, as it is not for lack of evidence. Choose wisely as your eternal destiny depends on the choice you make. If you would like to learn more about how to enter into a life-changing relationship with God, please read our post, How does one become a Christian?

Why am I afraid to share my Christian Faith?

Why am I afraid to share my Christian Faith?

Sharing your Christian faith involves risk and potential failure. Sometimes it could even be embarrassing. Yet there is an urgency about sharing your faith in Christ with those you care about because we don’t know who else might tell them. Without faith in Christ, if they die, they are condemned to eternal separation from God in a place where there is eternal pain and suffering.

The Bible is pretty clear:

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6

If one is to remain silent and leave a person to his or her fate that doesn’t sound much like a friend. The better way is to ask God to give you the courage to take the bold step of communicating the gospel message of Christ in a loving and considerate manner. Remember, success is not dependent upon you. You have been commissioned to do the sharing and God’s Holy Spirit does the convicting and the saving. So, once you realize that you can’t do the saving, you’re more like the person tossing a life preserver to a drowning friend. That friend will be encouraged by the Holy Spirit to seize the ring, but ultimately the decision to take hold is the friend’s alone. Don’t feel as if you have to “make the sale.” all you have to do is start the conversation.

How Can I Share My Faith Without an Argument?’ is a free downloadable booklet in the RBC Ministries Discover Series that is a great resource for anyone wanting to let others in on the greatest news in the history of mankind.

When you recognize that you just have to be faithful and that the outcome is in God’s control the fear of failure is gone. God will give you the courage and the right words to share. The more often you share your story about how Jesus changed your life and how it will change others, you will discover that each time it becomes easier. Pray, trust and act. The world needs Jesus more than anything else.

Is the war in Europe a sign of the End Times?

Is the war in Europe a sign of the End Times?

When we are confronted with the terror of war either personally or vicariously through the media and stories told by others, we begin to wonder if these are the last days described in the Bible. They could be. Certainly, for those killed in the conflict, they have experienced their end time on earth. But as to knowing if we are living in the end times, we must remember what Jesus said to his disciples as recorded in Matthew 24.

He said that no one, including Himself, can know the date or time but God The Father. Both Paul and Peter reminded us that the end will come “..like a thief in the night..” In his letter to Timothy, Paul writes “..the appearance of the Lord which God will bring about in His own time…” (1 Tim 6:13) In Revelation 22: 7,12 & 20 Jesus says He is coming soon. So how are we to know if we are in the end times? The Bible gives us some clues.

Paul describes signs that will precede the return of Jesus and the end of the Earth as we know it.

“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.”

2 Tim 3:2-5

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths”.

2 Tim 4: 3-4

Also foretold was the restoration of the Nation of Israel which happened on May 14, 1948. This after 1878 years of dispersion is truly a miracle and a fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel for the end times, a key event that needed to be in place before Jesus returns for believing Christians.

Yes, we could be living in the End Times. SO, what does that mean to you and me? BE READY, place your faith and trust in our Jesus Christ AND BE ALERT and live that new life He has promised for you on this earth and for eternity. If you would like to know more about how to enjoy peace in the midst of this conflict and be ready to live on with God beyond the end times, please check out our post, How Does One Become a Christian.

What is Lent?

What is Lent?

In the years immediately following the death and resurrection of Jesus, believers began engaging in a time of focus on their sin and God’s forgiveness of that sin in advance of the celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Over time, the church standardized 40 days (not counting Sundays) as a period of reflection and called it Fortieth or Lent. Like the Jewish celebration of Passover when celebrants remove yeast and all foods containing yeast, Lent was a time of removing certain foods or pleasures so one could concentrate on God.  

Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, began as a time of eating a final big meal before the forty days of fasting, prayer and restriction of pleasures. As with many traditions, Mardi Gras became secularized and became a day for overindulgence, superstition, and debauchery.

Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent, and in many church traditions it is a time when Christians gather for corporate confession and individual repentance. At the end of the service, priests, pastors, or church leaders place ashes, in the sign of the cross, on the forehead of believers while saying “from dust you have come, to dust you will return.”

This is a reminder that one’s physical body is temporal, while the spirit is eternal. Therefore, a Christian is asked to reflect on his or her relationship with God and possibly set aside a habit or a pleasure for 40 days to help one focus on Jesus, his sacrifice on our behalf, and on his commands to worship God and love and serve others.

If you don’t yet know this Jesus whose death brings life to all who believe, please read our post, How Does One Become a Christian.

If Jesus never sinned, how do you explain turning over the money-changers tables in the temple?

If Jesus never sinned, how do you explain turning over the money-changers tables in the temple?

We read about Jesus clearing from the Temple the money changers and sellers of sacrificial animals in all four of the Gospels.

John records the first instance shortly after he is baptized at the outset of his ministry.

When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”
John 2:13-16.

The second incident was when Jesus entered Jerusalem prior to his arrest, trial and crucifixion. It was recorded by Mark and Luke as well as Matthew.

Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”
Matthew 21:12,13

In both instances, Jesus did not display anger because he couldn’t get his way, but because the priests and merchants had turned the most sacred place of worship into a religious bazaar. The motivation for Jesus’s anger was pure, not out of pride or selfish ambition that is the typical root of anger.

Jesus may have felt that the transactions were usurious—that the merchants were getting rich exchanging common money for temple coinage required for the temple tax—but the text doesn’t say that. What we read was Jesus’ objection to the commercialization of God’s house.

Anger is one of many emotions that God built into the heart and mind of every human. Throughout the Bible we read about God’s anger. Clearly, then, anger is not sin. However, what we’re angry about most certainly can be sin, and when we don’t check the emotion of anger we often behave in a sinful manner.

If anger is something you deal with, talk to God about getting it under control. One way to do that is getting into a right-relationship with God and then petitioning him for help. If you are not sure where you stand with God, we encourage you to check out our blog post: How does one become a Christian?