What Color Was Adam?

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Here are seven stubborn facts about race relations:

  1. God is the Creator of us all. He made us all in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). We all come from the same original parents (Genesis 3:20; 1 Corinthians 15:45; Acts 17:26).
  2. God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34-35; 15:9; Romans 2:11; 10:12-13).
  3. God desires all people to be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9).
  4. Christ died for all (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).
  5. In Christ all are one and all are equal (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11).
  6. People from all nations will be in heaven (Revelation 7:9-17).
  7. Racial prejudice is a SIN (1 John 2:9, 11; 4:20-21). Racism violates the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12).

So what color was Adam? Does it matter?

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God’s Will and Our Will

Do we have a choice?

I will not!” the son said when his father told him to go work in the vineyard. But later he changed his mind and went (Matthew 21:28-29).

When did he exercise his own free will? Both times: in choosing to rebel and in choosing to comply.

God has given us a free will. He pleads with us to do His will  but never forces the issue. It’s always our choice.

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Have we chosen what Jesus chose?

Jesus willingly submitted His own will to His Father’s will (John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38)—even when it meant the cross (Matthew 26:36-46).

No wonder Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven . . .” (Matthew 7:21).

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

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The Best Kind of Growth

Measuring progress

For years, we kept a tattered chart inside our pantry door for marking our children’s height at different ages.

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“Well-rounded” certainly describes the childhood growth of Jesus. “And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52).

Of these four, what’s most important? What’s often most neglected?

Progress of what kind?

Paul commended Timothy for his “sincere faith,” which he also found in Timothy’s mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5).

And how did Timothy develop that faith? “. . . from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (3:15).

So, parents, what will it take for our children to grow like that?

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

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Let Them Get Away With It?

Getting Control Back

A convenience store cashier told me he saw a boy demand that his grandmother buy him a candy bar. She said no repeatedly.

“Yes, you are! You’re buying this for me! I’m getting it!”

“All right, but the next time I tell you no, you’re not going to get it.”

To the cashier, it was obvious who was in control. He would never permit a child to talk back like that, not would he reward bad behavior.

Before it’s too late!

Children can be so stubborn. Our job is to out-stubborn them. In a contest of wills, the child must not win, because if he wins, he loses.

“He who hates reproof will die” (Proverbs 15:10b). “Discipline your son while there is hope, and do not desire his death” (Proverbs 19:18).

Where will that boy be in 20 years? Doing 20 years?

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

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Prepared?

Preparing today . . .

In Aesop’s fable the ant diligently stored up during warm weather, but when winter hit, the grasshopper had nothing.

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A college student parties all semester, then panics before finals. Another aces the finals. While one partied, the other prepared.

As we mature we learn the value of preparation. Some, however, never learn. They live as thought there’s no tomorrow. But when tomorrow comes, and trouble with it, listen to them howl!

. . . in view of tomorrow

In Jesus’ parable on preparedness (Matthew 7:24-27), the wise builder’s house was firmly secured to a solid foundation before the storm hit. But the foolish builder’s short-cut had long-term consequences.

Both builders represent those who hear Jesus’ words. One applied what Jesus taught while the other did not.

And there’s where the difference lies for each of us.

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Beyond Belief

That the universe came into being by accident is, to me, beyond belief.

But now let’s use “beyond belief” in a very different sense.

Faith as a beginning

God wants us to grow beyond (mere) belief—certainly not leaving faith behind, but building on it (2 Peter 1:5-11).  Faith is foundational (Hebrews 6:1).

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Faith is “The root of the Christian life” (NIV Study Bible, p. 1899). It is “the foundation and the source from which all other duties spring” (Guy N. Woods, A Commentary on the New Testament Epistles of Peter, John, and Jude, p. 150).

As essential as roots and foundations are, they are just the beginning.

Faith completed

Faith, without proper application, is worthless (John 12:42-43; James 2:14-26).

Let’s go beyond belief!

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Stressed?

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“101 Ways to Relieve Stress” was the title of an attractive poster I saw once. Although it included many good pointers, it lacked a spiritual dimension. About as close as it came was the recommendation to forgive.

Here are two stress-relievers, direct from Scripture, guaranteed to work:

Seek Him!

Your heavenly Father values you above His lesser creatures. He takes care of them, doesn’t He? “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things [food and clothing] will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

Tell Him!

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God . . . will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

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

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