Does It Really Matter What We Believe?

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What medical error can do

In The Doctors Mayo, Helen Clapesattle describes how difficult it was to convince surgeons in the 19th century of the value of a sterile operating environment.

Many hospital patients died of preventable infections.

If ignorance in medicine was potentially fatal, what of religious error?

What religious error can do

Many reject Jesus’ claim to be the only way to God (John 14:6).

Jesus said, “. . . unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24).

And, “. . . he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me” (Luke 10:16).

So does it really matter what we believe?

Can we afford to assume we’re right with God until we’ve carefully examined our beliefs in light of His word (Acts 17:10-11)?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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You Lose!

Tempted?

Here’s a verse designed to strengthen our resolve in times of temptation:

“Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).

What so strongly allures is actually against us. We desire what would defeat us.

We are at war! Fleshly lusts wage war against the soul.

When Joseph resisted the seductions of Potiphar’s wife, he won the victory (Genesis 39).

But when David committed adultery with Bathsheba, he lost—Bigtime! (2 Samuel 11-12)

Give in or abstain?

Peter calls Christians aliens and strangers.

Fleshly lusts belong to Satan’s realm, the world. Christians live by a different standard (1 Peter 1:14-16; 4:1-5).

Satan hopes you’ll give in. But if you do, you lose!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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A Prayer for Our Town

Dear Father,

Thank You for our town—for all we enjoy as citizens of it.

Bless our mayor, Lord, and help the city manager and city council as they deal with thorny issues and make tough decisions. Grant them wisdom.

Bless every school administrator, teacher, staff person, and bus driver. May they provide a safe environment conducive to learning.

O God, our town suffers from broken homes and lonely people, lives shattered by alcohol and drugs, pornography and immorality.

Where there are racial tensions, may prejudice yield to understanding, and peace prevail.

May You bring badly needed revival to this community! May our citizens grow weary of sin and turn to You for healing.

Heal our town, dear Lord. And use us, we pray, as instruments of healing.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Making Room

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Me first!

A few days ago I watched as hummingbirds buzzed in for a landing at a feeder.

Many times one would stop drinking to chase others away, even though there were four spouts—no waiting.

Researching this, I discovered that hummingbirds are instinctively quite territorial.

But what about those of God’s creatures made in His image?

While the “default setting” for humans is Me/My/Mine, we do have a choice.

You first!

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

“Me First” is ultimately self-defeating.

But the servant mindset Jesus exemplified not only blesses others but ourselves as well.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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What I Love to See

Powerful effect

I love to see a well-used Bible—worn cover, key passages marked, and with lots of hand-written notes in the margins.

Even more so, I love to see believers whose lives are shaped by the Scriptures. They not only know the Bible, but far more important, they live it.

This is exactly what God intends (James 1:21-25).

God’s word is a guiding light (Psalm 119:105), nourishing food (Matthew 4:4; 1 Peter 2:2), and a sharp-two edged sword that pierces to the very core of our being (Hebrews 4:12).

Powerful Cause

When applied, the Scriptures can transform vile sinners of all stripes into those whose lives reflect the Christ they now serve (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

How can the Bible’s transforming power be explained in any other way than by its divine origin?

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A Better Way to Live

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My friend and I have been cleaning up an area where someone dumped a mattress, gas grill, carpet, ceiling fan, recliner, old boards, trash, etc.

What does the Bible say?

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you . . .” (Matthew 7:12). “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).

People who live by these principles, called the Golden Rule and the Second Commandment, not only refrain from littering and dumping, but also from lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, and a host of other selfish, anti-social behaviors.

Positively, these principles promote compassion, kindness, sharing, honesty, courtesy, respect, and countless other qualities that contribute to a better world.

What does the Bible do?

The Bible, when applied, not only points us to heaven, but also transforms society—one person at a time.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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What Price Obedience?

What it cost Jesus: His blood (1 Peter 1:18-19).

What it cost John the Baptist: his head (Mark 6:17-29).

What it cost Stephen: his life (Acts 7:54-60).

What it cost Matthew: his job (Matthew 9:9).

What it cost Paul: his prestige (Philippians 3:4-8).

What it cost John: his freedom (Acts 4:1-3; Revelation 1:9).

What it cost the Hebrew Christians: their property (Hebrews 10:32-34).

What it cost Epaphroditus: his health (Philippians 2:25-30).

What it cost the Christians of Asia Minor: their popularity (1 Peter 4:1-4).

They believed it was well worth it. Do you?

What has it cost you?

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