The Old Testament uses the term “backsliding” to speak of those who have been near to God but have allowed sin to take them away from Him.
The prophet Jeremiah said, “Our backsliding is great; we have sinned against you” (Jeremiah 14:7). Backsliding in Scripture is always seen as a very serious matter: “‘Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of me,’ declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty” (Jeremiah 2:19, NIV).
Backsliding can be caused by many things. However, whatever the sin might be that leads us away from God, it must be dealt with honestly and brought before Him in repentance. God loves us and wants us to be close to Him. Even when we sin against Him, He promises to forgive. “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them” (Hosea 14:4).
We must always fight against backsliding, but if we do backslide, we know that when we renounce our sin and return to God, there is forgiveness and reconciliation. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify [his children], and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly. Job 1:5
There is no end of worrying by parents on behalf of their children—especially after they have left home and are living their own adult lives. Parenting never ends. In spite of the many ways to communicate electronically, parents no longer see their children daily. Parents want to know how their children are doing, especially how they are doing spiritually.
The best way for parents to safeguard their children’s lives no matter where they are is by intercessory prayer. The father and patriarch, Job, maintained a steady practice of intercession on behalf of his seven sons and three daughters. He offered sacrifices and prayers for them in case they had stumbled and sinned against God (Job 1:1-5). Just as Jesus Christ intercedes for us (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25), fathers and mothers can intercede for their children.
If you have children and grandchildren, let intercessory prayer be your lifeline to heaven on their behalf.
We are never more like Christ than in prayers of intercession. Austin Phelps
Life Is What You Make It: Make Room For Service
Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it. Colossians 4:17
In a Wall Street Journal blog, Marc Agronin, a psychiatrist at Miami Jewish Health, wrote, “During a routine visit with your doctor, you anticipate questions about your diet, weight, smoking and drinking. But there’s one important health-related question our doctors never ask, but should: ‘What’s your sense of purpose in life?’”
Researchers have found that purpose is as great a factor in health and longevity as exercise. It improves our body’s stress response, fosters healthier behaviors, and reduces certain risk factors for heart disease. What kind of activities? Dr. Agronin suggests “volunteering, caregiving, grandparenting, craft-making, traveling, praying, creating… it’s an endless list.”1
For Christ-followers, service comes naturally. Jesus sends us into each day with work to do, and our lives are immortal until our work is done. In Colossians 4:7-17, Paul lists ten different men who encouraged him by their lives of service. Life is what you make it. Make room for service. Ask the Lord what He wants you to do today, and do it with all your heart.
Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever our lord the king shall appoint.
Amy Carmichael, in Edges of His Ways
Colossians 4:17-18 – The Baton Has Been Passed
On the livescience.com website, I read something pretty amazing: “If you were standing atop a mountain surveying a larger-than-usual patch of the planet, you could perceive bright lights hundreds of miles distant. On a dark night, you could even see a candle flame flickering up to 30 miles (48 km) away.” No telescopes or night-vision goggles needed—the human eye is so profoundly designed that even long distances can be spanned with clear sight.
This fact is a vivid reminder of our amazing Creator, who designed not only the human eye but also all of the details that make up our expansive universe. And, unlike anything else in creation, God has made us in His own image (Gen. 1:26). “In His image” speaks of something far greater than the ability to see. It speaks of a likeness to God that makes it possible for us to be in relationship with Him.
We can affirm David’s declaration, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (Ps. 139:14). Not only have we been given eyes to see, but we have also been made so that, in Christ, one day we will see Him! By Bill Crowder
In today’s reading, David’s declaration of amazement at how wonderfully he is made comes in the context of listing some of the other aspects of God’s creation: the heavens, the sea, the night, and the day. Verses 7-12 describe both God’s omnipotence and His omnipresence. David celebrates not only the magnitude and power of God, but he also underscores that no matter where he is, God’s hand will lead him and hold him (v.10).
Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed
Wherever I turn my eye,
If I survey the ground I tread
Or gaze upon the sky! —Watts
All of God’s creation bears witness to Him as our great Creator.
God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:5)
The creation days in Genesis 1 offer a test of belief. Could a lifeless, shapeless mass really turn into a fully formed and inhabited Earth in just six days? This record of perhaps the ultimate miracle confronts us with the power and personality of the miracle Maker.
A six-day creation certainly challenges the beliefs of someone unsure of who God is, but the challenge is even more acute for those who hold the secular understanding that the earth and universe evolved over billions of years. What are we to do with the days of Genesis? Four reasonable arguments reveal our answer.
The first argument concerns miracles themselves. Most of our cultural leaders reject the possibility of a supernatural creation. Of course, sheer refusal to believe in miracles is no substitute for examining evidence for or against a possible miracle. But since natural processes do not create stars, planets, or people, creation must have occurred through a supernatural process—a miracle.
A god who can make a universe can do anything at any pace, even creating and organizing all things in just six days. He should also be able to clearly communicate, as we read in Genesis. There, the Lord defined the first day as the span between evening and morning—our second argument. This “daylight” definition of day should sound familiar. For example, one might say, “I saw her during the day.” All one needs to define these ordinary days is an earth rotating near a fixed light source. God provided light for the first three days of the creation week and then created the sun to continue producing light from Day 4 until today.
A third reasonable argument about the length of creation-week days notes that saying “the second day” and “the third day” normally signifies 24-hour days. If God intended to convey millions or billions of years, then why didn’t He just say so? Instead, He defined a normal day in the unmistakable terms of one Earth rotation.
The last reasonable argument comes from the Fourth Commandment. It says that one day out of every seven days should be set aside to remember and honor the Lord instead of working. It relies entirely on and points directly to God’s six working days and one rest day during the creation week itself. Why were the Israelites told to take this day off? God explains it in no uncertain terms: “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”1 Since our workweek days are solar days, then God’s creation week must also have been composed of normal days.
Evolutionary ideas generally exclude miracles and God, so it makes little sense to rely on them when trying to understand creation-week days. But God can do anything. He could transform a lifeless, shapeless mass into an inhabited Earth in an instant, over billions of years, or in six literal days. By using “evening and morning,” by numbering each day, and by patterning our ordinary workweek after His first workweek, He told us that He did it in six ordinary days.
by Brian Thomas, M.S. a Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Brian Thomas, M.S. 2015. Were the Creation Days 24 Hours Long?. Acts & Facts. 44 (7).
I think that most – if not all of us – would agree that our Nation has been blessed. We have been blessed materially, geographically, educationally, and technologically.
As we celebrate the birth our Nation this weekend, on July 4th, we need to be Thankful to the Lord and seek Him for His continual blessings in the future.
Today, we are reminded again (as young men and women have died defending our Freedoms), that our Freedom comes with a high price. Men and women throughout the history of our Country have given their lives to make this country what it is – for our Independence!
It was this way from the beginning – out of the 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence:
– 5 were captured and tortured by the British before they died.
– 12 had their homes ransacked and burned to the ground.
– 2 lost their sons in the war.
– 1 had two sons captured.
– 9 fought and died from wounds or the hardships of war.
– Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home to pay his debts died poor.
– Thomas McKean was forced to move his family almost constantly because he was so hounded by the British. He served in Congress without pay and died in poverty.
– Thomas Nelson’s home was seized by the British at the Battle of Yorktown and used as a command post. He urged Gen. George Washington to open fire on it. The home was destroyed and Nelson died bankrupt.
Jun 10, 2010
Dear Lord, You know what we have been worrying about, keeping us awake at night. We give it all to You, for You are faithful, and Your promises of help are certain. You will never fail us nor forsake us. Thank You for Your kindness to us, Your creatures. We don’t deserve such grace, but Your mercies are new every morning, and Your promises are all firm and sure, to be counted on. In Jesus, we see all this to be true, so we come to Him and offer into His hands all our worries and fears. Through Jesus, our Lord, we receive perfect peace. Thank You, O Lord. Amen.
Jesus changed water into wine (John 2:1-11).
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Woman,why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
The First Miracle of Jesus – John 2:1-12
Going Through Spiritual Confusion
There are times in your spiritual life when there is confusion, and the way out of it is not simply to say that you should not be confused. It is not a matter of right and wrong, but a matter of God taking you through a way that you temporarily do not understand. And it is only by going through the spiritual confusion that you will come to the understanding of what God wants for you.
The Shrouding of His Friendship (see Luke 11:5-8). Jesus gave the illustration here of a man who appears not to care for his friend. He was saying, in effect, that is how the heavenly Father will appear to you at times. You will think that He is an unkind friend, but remember— He is not. The time will come when everything will be explained. There seems to be a cloud on the friendship of the heart, and often even love itself has to wait in pain and tears for the blessing of fuller fellowship and oneness. When God appears to be completely shrouded, will you hang on with confidence in Him?
The Shadow on His Fatherhood (see Luke 11:11-13). Jesus said that there are times when your Father will appear as if He were an unnatural father— as if He were callous and indifferent— but remember, He is not. “Everyone who asks receives…” (Luke 11:10). If all you see is a shadow on the face of the Father right now, hang on to the fact that He will ultimately give you clear understanding and will fully justify Himself in everything that He has allowed into your life.
The Strangeness of His Faithfulness (see Luke 18:1-8). “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). Will He find the kind of faith that counts on Him in spite of the confusion? Stand firm in faith, believing that what Jesus said is true, although in the meantime you do not understand what God is doing. He has bigger issues at stake than the particular things you are asking of Him right now.
WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS
Our danger is to water down God’s word to suit ourselves. God never fits His word to suit me; He fits me to suit His word. Not Knowing Whither, 901 R
Through It All Andrae Crouch
Andrae Crouch sings “Through It All” at a Billy Graham crusade in New Mexico in 1975
Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together… —Hebrews 10:24-25
We are all capable of being spiritually lazy saints. We want to stay off the rough roads of life, and our primary objective is to secure a peaceful retreat from the world. The ideas put forth in these verses from Hebrews 10 are those of stirring up one another and of keeping ourselves together. Both of these require initiative— our willingness to take the first step toward Christ-realization, not the initiative toward self-realization. To live a distant, withdrawn, and secluded life is diametrically opposed to spirituality as Jesus Christ taught it.
The true test of our spirituality occurs when we come up against injustice, degradation, ingratitude, and turmoil, all of which have the tendency to make us spiritually lazy. While being tested, we want to use prayer and Bible reading for the purpose of finding a quiet retreat. We use God only for the sake of getting peace and joy. We seek only our enjoyment of Jesus Christ, not a true realization of Him. This is the first step in the wrong direction. All these things we are seeking are simply effects, and yet we try to make them causes.
“Yes, I think it is right,” Peter said, “…to stir you up by reminding you…” (2 Peter 1:13). It is a most disturbing thing to be hit squarely in the stomach by someone being used of God to stir us up— someone who is full of spiritual activity. Simple active work and spiritual activity are not the same thing. Active work can actually be the counterfeit of spiritual activity. The real danger in spiritual laziness is that we do not want to be stirred up— all we want to hear about is a spiritual retirement from the world. Yet Jesus Christ never encourages the idea of retirement— He says, “Go and tell My brethren…” (Matthew 28:10)
WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS
It is impossible to read too much, but always keep before you why you read. Remember that “the need to receive, recognize, and rely on the Holy Spirit” is before all else. Approved Unto God, 11 L
How to Fight Laziness // Ask Pastor John