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Can There Be No Unity ???

In my post of last Saturday, July 25, I mentioned how I had witnessed unity within the church in France like I have never witnessed anywhere else. How that unity was achieved and has been kept alive, I’m not certain. One person told me that it is because the church is not large in numbers. I did speak with more declared atheists in Paris and London than I ever have in my whole life. It definitely is a post-modern culture there. Much more than I run across in NYC, and anywhere else in this country that I frequent. Perhaps this is a factor.

I believe that if the apostles were present today, or Jesus Himself, the church of today would not be recognizable to them. Paul, in his epistles, wrote 7 verses speaking of church unity to every one he wrote on justification by faith. This should speak volumes to us!! Justification by faith is very important, it is a major doctrine no doubt; but if Paul spent so much time on Christian unity, why does the church care so little about it??

There are hundreds of denominations here in the United States that have reproduced themselves all over the world. Most are so suspicious of one another and won’t even talk to one another. What a superior thought of oneself and a tragedy it is!! This is not to say that the early church had no disunity. In Romans Paul told the house churches there to get to know one another and not to be suspicious of one another.

” May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” Romans 15:5-7 (ESV)

It’s because of this disunity that the world doesn’t take us very seriously. When speaking with the many people that I do, church disunity, and all the differences, is a major drawback for them to not even want to consider Christianity. True Christian churches should have one central message, which is the Gospel. The Gospel is our unifying message and is what should bring us together. Not the way that a person is baptized, or the different views of Communion, or when and how Jesus is coming again, etc.

As I stated earlier, Paul spoke of unity within the church more than he spoke of justification by faith. He knew it was difficult, and so must we. Let’s do something about it!!!

Shalom until next time, Lord willing,

Levi

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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How To Live Debt-free

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Back in the day when Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem, taxes were a hated part of life, especially by the Jews. It reminded them they were subjected to foreign (Roman) rule, just like God had warned them if they did not obey and follow him.

Nothing has changed over 2,000 years. No matter which country we live in, we still hate taxes. And woe to us if we don’t pay them on time.

In one incident the religious leaders tried to entangle Jesus in his words by asking, “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” Jesus answered them, “Show me the coin for the tax.” They gave him the coin, and Jesus continued, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They answered, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Instead of trapping Jesus in what they thought would be an offense against the religious establishment or the Jewish authorities, depending on how he answered their question, they marveled instead at his answer and walked away. (See Matthew 22:15-22)

Come April 15, a collective groan goes up all over this country. Why do we resist paying taxes so? I think it’s because we were born to freedom. We know, deep down, we were meant to live without paying tribute to anybody except to the God who made us.

In truth, we owe much more than just taxes. We owe our very being to God. He gave us life and breath, but instead of acknowledging it, we resist Him with all our might and wills. Every newborn comes into the world with this predisposition, and lives and dies with it, unless some greater power from the outside invades that life and draws him to God.

That resistance is called sin and it has contaminated the human race. However, God has provided a way to come to Him, through his Son Yeshua (Jesus). Jesus lived a perfect life conforming to God’s laws with all his might and will, and also went to the cross as our sin bearer and died in our place. Anyone who believes this and places his faith in Yeshua’s finished work on the cross is declared debt-free in the sight of God.

We should heed what Jesus said to the religious leaders – we should pay taxes to our government, and also give to God the things that belong to him, namely ourselves in faith to him.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”John 8:33 ESV

Won’t you make April 15 the beginning of a debt-free life?

 

Written by Carolyne Rohrig

Original post: Debt-free Living

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2015 in Christianity, Faith, Religion

 

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Ticket To the Kingdom!!!!!!

Every true disciple of Yeshua should expect to experience persecution in one form or another, sooner or later, but there is an upside to it: Entrance to the kingdom.

Yeshua taught His disciples to expect persecution. He said, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10). By saying “theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” Yeshua indicated that those who endure persecution for His sake will find entrance into the kingdom.

To be persecuted for the sake of righteousness means to suffer for the sake of faithfulness to God despite various types of insults and ridicule and attempts to force a person into compromise and apostasy.

The Jewish people have had a long history of enduring suffering and persecution for their allegiance to God, and most of it done to them in the name of Jesus. In the days before the Hasmonean revolt, the wicked Syrians and Greeks persecuted and even martyred Jewish people who remained faithful to the commandments of circumcision, Sabbath observance, and dietary laws. The same torture awaited the faithful Jews of the apostolic and post-apostolic age as the Roman world attempted to thwart the practice of Judaism.

Yeshua warned His disciples that they would be insulted, persecuted, and falsely accused specifically because of their affiliation with Him. He said, “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man” (Luke 6:22). Some New Testament scholars suggest that the original Hebrew of Matthew 5:10 reads, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of The Righteousness One (HaTzaddik), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Yeshua is the Tzaddik, the “Righteous One.”

Yeshua reminded His disciples that the prophets of old suffered similar persecution from their countrymen. He said, “Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets” (Luke 6:23). In fact, Yeshua’s disciples should be concerned if they do not experience some measure of persecution for the sake of the Master: “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way” (Luke 6:26). The reward of the persecuted is laid up in heaven, that is to say, it remains with the Father to be paid out at the coming of the kingdom of heaven: “They came to life and reigned with Messiah for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4).

Something to think about on this almost Spring day,

Shalom, until next time, Lord willing,

Levi

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Peacemakers !!!!!!

The kingdom of heaven will be an era of universal peace on earth. Sons and daughters of God should not be content to wait until the kingdom arrives, we should be busy making peace in today’s world.

Yeshua said to His disciples, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). Yeshua’s beatitude about peacemakers went against the first-century zealot impulse that called for taking up armed resistance against Rome. Several of His disciples were zealots. The beatitude about making peace attempted to turn their thoughts away from armed revolution.

Yeshua calls the peacemakers “sons of God” because, in the Bible, God is called the Oseh Shalom, that is, “the One who makes peace in His heights” (Job 25:2). Peacemakers imitate God who makes peace above.

Peacemakers are those who pursue peace as written in Psalm 34:14: “Seek peace and pursue it.” A man who pursues peace also strives to make peace. He does not just wait for his enemies to be reconciled to him. Instead, he pursues after peace like the working man pursues his daily wages. He pursues peace with his enemies and seeks to make peace between a man and his neighbor, and between a man and his wife.

James the brother of Yeshua says that the peacemaker is like the man who sows his field. He plants peace, but when the crop ripens, he harvests righteousness: “The seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:18). And it’s for this reason the writer of the book of Hebrews urges us to “pursue peace with all men” (Hebrews 12:14), and Paul tells us, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” (Romans 12:18).

When Yeshua saved us from our sins and imparted to us eternal life we gained peace from within. Because of what He has done for us we are now to be peacemakers with our fellow man. We need to get used to it. This is the way it will be in the kingdom age.

Shalom, until next time, Lord willing,

Levi

 
 

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Look Where You Lost Him !!!!!!

Night after night on my bed
I looked for the man I love.
I looked for him, but I didn’t find him.

Song of Solomon 3:1

Tell me where you lost the company of Christ, and I will tell you the most likely place to find Him. Have you lost Christ in the closet by restraining prayer? Then it is there you must seek and find Him. Did you lose Christ by sin? You will find Christ in no other way but by the giving up of the sin, and seeking by the Holy Spirit to mortify the member in which the lust dwells. Did you lose Christ by neglecting the Scriptures? You must find Christ in the Scriptures. It is a true proverb, “Look for a thing where you dropped it–it is there.” So look for Christ where you lost Him, for He has not gone away.

But it is hard work to go back for Christ. Bunyan tells us that the pilgrim found the piece of the road back to the Arbor of Ease, where he lost his roll, the hardest he had ever traveled. Twenty miles onward is easier than to go one mile back for the lost evidence. Take care, then, when you find your Master, to cling close to Him.

But how is it you have lost Him? One would have thought you would never have parted with such a precious friend, whose presence is so sweet, whose words are so comforting, and whose company is so dear to you! How is it that you did not watch Him every moment for fear of losing sight of Him? Yet, since you have let Him go, what a mercy that you are seeking Him, even though you mournfully groan, “O that I knew where I might find Him!”

Go on seeking, for it is dangerous to be without your Lord. Without Christ you are like a sheep without its shepherd, like a tree without water at its roots, like a withered leaf in the storm–not bound to the tree of life. With your whole heart seek Him, and He will be found by you. Only give yourself thoroughly up to the search, and truly you shall yet discover Him to your joy and gladness.

Truth For Today Daily by Alistair Begg

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Sins of Ignorance

Sins of Ignorance

And it shall be forgiven them; for it is ignorance. (Numbers 15:25)

Because of our ignorance we are not fully aware of our sins of ignorance. Yet we may be sure they are many, in the form both of commission and omission. We may be doing in all sincerity, as a service to God, that which He has never commanded and can never accept.

The Lord knows these sins of ignorance every one. This may well alarm us, since in justice He will require these trespasses at our hand; but on the other hand, faith spies comfort in this fact, for the Lord will see to it that stains unseen by us shall yet be washed away. He sees the sin that He may cease to see it by casting it behind His back.

Our great comfort is that Jesus, the true priest, has made atonement for all the congregation of the children of Israel. That atonement secures the pardon of unknown sins. His precious blood cleanses us from all sin. Whether our eyes have seen it and wept over it or not, God has seen it, Christ has atoned for it, the Spirit bears witness to the pardon of it, and so we have a threefold peace.

O my Father, I praise Thy divine knowledge, which not only perceives my iniquities but provides an atonement which delivers me from the guilt of them, even before I know that I am guilty.

C.H. Spurgeon, Faith’s Checkbook

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2014 in C.H. Spurgeon, Christianity, Faith, Religion

 

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The Leadership of Our Guide !!!!!!

The Leadership of Our Guide !!!!!!

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth. (John 16:13)

Truth is like a vast cavern into which we desire to enter, but we are not able to traverse it alone. At the entrance it is clear and bright; but if we would go further and explore its innermost recesses, we must have a guide, or we shall lose ourselves. The Holy Spirit, who knows all truth perfectly, is the appointed guide of all true believers, and He conducts them as they are able to bear it, from one inner chamber to another, so that they behold the deep things of God, and His secret is made plain to them.

What a promise is this for the humbly inquiring mind! We desire to know the truth and to enter into it. We are conscious of our own aptness to err, and we feel the urgent need of a guide. We rejoice that the Holy Spirit is come and abides among us. He condescends to act as a guide to us, and we gladly accept His leadership. “All truth” we wish to learn, that we may not be one-sided and out of balance. We would not be willingly ignorant of any part of revelation lest thereby we should miss blessing or incur sin. The Spirit of God has come that He may guide us into all truth: let us with obedient hearts hearken to His words and follow His lead.

C.H. Spurgeon, Faith’s Checkbook

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2014 in C.H. Spurgeon, Christianity, Faith, Religion

 

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