VIDEO Is Faith a Religious Word?, What’s the evidence for truth?

Jan 19, 2015

Some modern day theories seem to pit science against God, but why? Do you have to choose or can you intellectually believe in both? In Science & God, author and social critic Os Guinness engages Oxford University Professor of Mathematics John Lennox in a conversation that explores this tension, with calculations that subtract neither God nor science. Lennox looks at both historical and contemporary explanations of the universe, offering his unique perspective. Decide for yourself what to think about this important debate as you examine both scientific and theological perspectives.

View the complete video Science & God at: http://dod.org/programs/the-search-for-meaning-science-god/

Baby Steps – The Unsurpassed Intimacy of Tested Faith

Baby Steps
baby adult walk
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer. —Psalm 18:33 niv

My baby is learning to walk. I have to hold her, and she clings to my fingers because she is still unsteady on her feet. She is afraid of slipping, but I’m there to steady her and watch over her. As she walks with my help, her eyes sparkle with gratitude, happiness, and security. But sometimes she cries when I don’t let her take dangerous paths, not realizing that I am protecting her.

Like my baby girl, we often need someone to watch over us, to guide and steady us in our spiritual walk. And we have that someone—God our Father—who helps His children learn to walk, guides our steps, holds our hand, and keeps us on the right path.
God keeps our feet steady & catches us when we slip.

King David knew all about the need for God’s watchful care in his life. In Psalm 18 he describes how God gives us strength and guidance when we are lost or confused (v. 32). He keeps our feet steady, like the feet of the deer that can climb high places without slipping (v. 33). And if we do slip, His hand is there for us (v. 35).

Whether we are new believers just learning to walk in the faith or we are further along in our walk with God, all of us need His guiding, steadying hand.

Dear Father, hold my hand and lead me in the paths of right living.

God watches over me every step of the way.

By Keila Ochoa

The Unsurpassed Intimacy of Tested Faith
faith mountain top

Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” —John 11:40

Every time you venture out in your life of faith, you will find something in your circumstances that, from a commonsense standpoint, will flatly contradict your faith. But common sense is not faith, and faith is not common sense. In fact, they are as different as the natural life and the spiritual. Can you trust Jesus Christ where your common sense cannot trust Him? Can you venture out with courage on the words of Jesus Christ, while the realities of your commonsense life continue to shout, “It’s all a lie”? When you are on the mountaintop, it’s easy to say, “Oh yes, I believe God can do it,” but you have to come down from the mountain to the demon-possessed valley and face the realities that scoff at your Mount-of-Transfiguration belief (see Luke 9:28-42). Every time my theology becomes clear to my own mind, I encounter something that contradicts it. As soon as I say, “I believe ‘God shall supply all [my] need,’ ” the testing of my faith begins (Philippians 4:19). When my strength runs dry and my vision is blinded, will I endure this trial of my faith victoriously or will I turn back in defeat?

Faith must be tested, because it can only become your intimate possession through conflict. What is challenging your faith right now? The test will either prove your faith right, or it will kill it. Jesus said, “Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me” Matthew 11:6). The ultimate thing is confidence in Jesus. “We have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end…” (Hebrews 3:14). Believe steadfastly on Him and everything that challenges you will strengthen your faith. There is continual testing in the life of faith up to the point of our physical death, which is the last great test. Faith is absolute trust in God— trust that could never imagine that He would forsake us (see Hebrews 13:5-6).

Both nations and individuals have tried Christianity and abandoned it, because it has been found too difficult; but no man has ever gone through the crisis of deliberately making Jesus Lord and found Him to be a failure. The Love of God—The Making of a Christian, 680 R

Oswald Chambers

Repentance in the Believer’s Life

Proverbs 28:13

Is repentance necessary in the believer’s life? Yes, and we can see this critical truth in 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” You may say, “The word repentance isn’t in that verse.” But let’s take a closer look.

Remember, “to repent” simply means to change your mind. For unbelievers, this refers to saving faith—that is, the decision to place trust in Jesus. But for Christians, repentance involves a change of heart with regard to behavior or attitude. We must make an ongoing decision to lead an obedient, Christlike life.

In 1 John, this choice is represented by the word confess, which originally had the sense of “agree with.” In other words, if you confess your wrongdoing to God, you are coming into agreement with Him about that sin and, in turn, disagreeing with your previous view. Here, confession isn’t a matter of salvation; rather, it means allowing the Father to continually reform your mind, molding you more and more into the image of His Son.

God absolutely hates sin. So if you agree with Him about sin, then you are changing your mind about the disobedience in your life. Thoughts, attitudes, and actions that once seemed perfectly natural will no longer fit with who you are. As God continues to work in your life, your mind will gradually reject old thought patterns, and you’ll more closely represent His way of thinking.

Is there sin in your life that has become too uncomfortable to bear? Confess the matter to God, and allow Him to change your mind about it today.

His Master’s Crib

“The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.” (Isaiah 1:3)

What an indictment this is—not only against the people of Israel, but against men and women everywhere. All were created and made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27) for fellowship with Him, but even His own chosen people rejected Him, and most people everywhere all but ignore Him in their daily lives.

“Crib” is the same as “manger,” and when God became man, His human parents “laid him in a manger” (Luke 2:7), as there was no room for Him anywhere else. The animals knew Him, and so did the angels, but His people were unconcerned. “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not” (John 1:10).

When He came into Jerusalem offering Himself as King of Israel, He rode on an unbroken colt, “whereon yet never man sat,” and the little “foal of an ass” (Luke 19:30; Zechariah 9:9) willingly submitted, knowing his divine Master and Maker. But the people of Jerusalem as a whole joined in clamoring for His crucifixion just a few days later.

The indictment against Israel could be lodged with even greater justification against America today. “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: . . . I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me” (Isaiah 1:2). The morals of our people seem to have been turned upside down, and God would say to us also: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness” (Isaiah 5:20).

Yet—in modern America, as well as in ancient Israel—“as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). HMM

Salvation Apart from Obedience

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. —Ephesians 2:10

Therefore, I must be frank in my feeling that a notable heresy has come into being throughout our evangelical Christian circles—the widely accepted concept that we humans can choose to accept Christ only because we need Him as Savior and we have the right to postpone our obedience to Him as Lord as long as we want to!…

I think the following is a fair statement of what I was taught in my early Christian experience and it certainly needs a lot of modifying and a great many qualifiers to save us from being in error.

“We are saved by accepting Christ as our Savior; we are sanctified by accepting Christ as our Lord; we may do the first without doing the second!”

The truth is that salvation apart from obedience is unknown in the sacred Scriptures. Peter makes it plain that we are “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience” (1 Peter 1:2).

Lord, as I rejoice in the free gift of salvation, by grace through faith, remind me regularly that it is a salvation unto good works, that we’re saved to serve. Amen.

Our Lord Looks for Heavenly Minded Christians

Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, he with me where I am; that they may behold my glory…. John 17:24

I am sure that our Lord is looking for heavenly-minded Christians, for His Word encourages us to trust Him with such a singleness of purpose that He is able to deliver us from the fear of death and the uncertainties of tomorrow!

If we had actually reached a place of such spiritual commitment that the wonders of heaven were so close that we longed for the illuminating Presence of our Lord, we would not go into such a fearful and frantic performance every time we find something wrong with our physical frame.

I do not think that a genuine, committed Christian ever ought to be afraid to die. We do not have to fear because Jesus promised that He would prepare a proper place for all of those who shall be born again, raised up out of the agony and stress of this world through the blood of the everlasting covenant into that bright and gracious world above.

Notice that Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” If it is His Father’s house, it is also our Father’s house because the Lord Jesus is our elder brother. Jesus also said, “I go to my Father and your Father—my God and your God.”

If the Father’s house is the house of Jesus, it is also the house of all of His other sons and daughters! And we Christians are much better off than we really know!

More Than Consolation

Blessed is the man… his delight is in the law of the LORD. PSALM 1:1-2

It is my judgment that too many of us go to church on Sunday for the same reason that a child climbs into its mother’s arms after a fall or a bump or a fright—the child wants consolation!

We have fallen upon times when religion is mostly for consolation—for we are in the grip of the cult of peace. We want to relax and have the great God Almighty pat our heads and comfort us with peace of mind, peace of heart, peace of soul. This has become religion!

According to my Bible, there should be a people of God, a people called of God and subjected to a spiritual experience by God. Then they are to learn to walk in the way of Truth and the way of the Scripture, producing the righteous fruit of the child of God no matter what world conditions may be.

But there is a great misunderstanding among us. Too many tend to think that we get the flower and the fragrance and the fruit of the Spirit by some kind of magical shortcut, instead of by cultivation. Meanwhile, our neighbors are waiting to see the likeness of Christ in our daily lives!

Lord, I don’t want to be known as a Sunday-only Christian. I want my faith in You to be obvious to my family, coworkers, and neighbors. I pray that others will see the fruit of Your presence in my life today.