Faith Walk

Genesis 1:26
26Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  Only by knowing God can all men and women fulfill the divine plan and find the true purpose of their lives.

A recent nationwide survey completed by the Barna Research Group determined that only 4 percent of Americans had a "biblical" worldview. When George Barna, who has researched cultural trends and the Christian Church since 1984, looked at the "born- again" believers in America, the results were a dismal 9 percent.

Barna's survey also connected an individual's worldview with his or her moral beliefs and actions. Barna says, "Although most people own a Bible and know some of its content, our research found that most Americans have little idea how to integrate core biblical principles to form a unified and meaningful response to the challenges and opportunities of life."

  1. What's a worldview?

A worldview is the framework from which we view reality and make sense of life and the world. "[It's] any ideology, philosophy, theology, movement or religion that provides an overarching approach to understanding God, the world and man's relations to God and the world," says David Noebel, author of Understanding the Times.

For example, a 2-year-old believes he's the center of his world, a secular humanist believes that the material world is all that exists, and a Buddhist believes he can be liberated from suffering by self-purification.

Someone with a biblical worldview believes his primary reason for existence is to love and serve God.

Whether conscious or subconscious, every person has some type of worldview. A personal worldview is a combination of all you believe to be true, and what you believe becomes the driving force behind every emotion, decision and action. Therefore, it affects your response to every area of life: from philosophy to science, theology and anthropology to economics, law, politics, art and social order — everything.

For example, let's suppose you have bought the idea that beauty is in the eye of the beholder (secular relative truth) as opposed to beauty as defined by God's purity and creativity (absolute truth). Then any art piece, no matter how vulgar or abstract, would be considered "art," a creation of beauty.

  1. What's a biblical worldview?

A biblical worldview is based on the infallible Word of God. When you believe the Bible is entirely true, then you allow it to be the foundation of everything you say and do. That means, for instance, you take seriously the mandate in Romans 13 to honor the governing authorities by researching the candidates and issues, making voting a priority.

Do you have a biblical worldview? Answer the following questions, based on claims found in the Bible and which George Barna used in his survey:

  • Do absolute moral truths exist?
  • Is absolute truth defined by the Bible?
  • Did Jesus Christ live a sinless life?
  • Is God the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe, and does He still rule it today?
  • Is salvation a gift from God that cannot be earned?
  • Is Satan real?
  • Does a Christian have a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people?
  • Is the Bible accurate in all of its teachings?

Did you answer yes to these? Only 9 percent of "born- again" believers did. But what's more important than your yes to these questions is whether your life shows it. Granted, we are all sinners and fall short, but most of our gut reactions will reflect what we deep-down, honest-to-goodness believe to be real and true.

  1. How does a biblical worldview get diluted?

Here is the big problem. Nonbiblical worldview ideas don't just sit in a book somewhere waiting for people to examine them. They bombard us constantly from television, film, music, newspapers, magazines, books and academia.

Because we live in a selfish, fallen world, these ideas seductively appeal to the desires of our flesh, and we often end up incorporating them into our personal worldview. Sadly, we often do this without even knowing it.

For example, most Christians would agree with 1 Thessalonians 4:3 and other Scriptures that command us to avoid sexual immorality, but how often do Christians fall into lust or premarital and extramarital sexual sin? Is it simply because they are weak when tempted, or did it begin much earlier, with the seductive lies from our sexualized society?

  1. Why does a biblical worldview matter?

If we don't really believe the truth of God and live it, then our witness will be confusing and misleading. Most of us go through life not recognizing that our personal worldviews have been deeply affected by the world. Through the media and other influences, the secularized American view of history, law, politics, science, God and man affects our thinking more than we realize. We then are taken "captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ" (Colossians 2:8).

However, by diligently learning, applying and trusting God’s truths in every area of our lives — whether it's watching a movie, communicating with our spouses, raising our children or working at the office — we can begin to develop a deep comprehensive faith that will stand against the unrelenting tide of our culture's nonbiblical ideas. If we capture and embrace more of God's worldview and trust it with unwavering faith, then we begin to make the right decisions and form the appropriate responses to questions on abortion, same- sex marriage, cloning, stem-cell research and even media choices. Because, in the end, it is our decisions and actions that reveal what we really believe.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2).

Our first priority in family ministry should be to introduce people to the author of family — He is the greatest hope for healthy, thriving families. We believe that parents should aspire to model for their children how to humbly follow the teachings and spirit of Jesus at home and in the community.

So you’ve asked for God’s forgiveness of your evilness, acknowledged that Jesus’ punishment was for you, and decided live a life in the favor of God. Well then, here’s how it works:

Having a relationship with God is a lot like relationships between people. If you think about it, would God really expect us to live in a way that we couldn’t relate to? If that’s the case, then what makes for a good relationship between people?

• Mutual respect
• Communication
• Honesty
• Love
• Spending Time Together

You get the idea. The list could become quite long. Actually Jesus speaking in the Bible sums it up really quite well; “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.”.( Luke 10:37)

There it is… there’s not much else to say. Actually to perfect this love for God, think about first loving yourself. Imagine for a moment that ‘perfect’ friend. The way you would love to be treated (go back to the list above). You can become that ‘perfect’ friend to yourself, someone else (wife and kids, mom, dad…), and ultimately you become a ‘friend of God’.

A well know public speaker often says “You are the same today as you’re going to be in five years except for two things, the people you meet and the books you read.” (Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones). If you think that statement has merit, then why not take a close look at where you get your information from and who you hang out with.

Here’s a plan to get you started in the right direction:
• Put yourself in a place where God can take care of you. A good Bible-Centered Church that teaches God’s complete Word. Attend there weekly and associate with other Christians through the week.


• Begin reading God’s word and praying on a regular basis. This will change the way you think about God, life, and other people. Check out some of the Bibles that are available (New King James. The Message, New International Version) .


• Find a way to be a servant to other people. This will develop a servant’s heart in you so that you can begin to see people as God see’s them.

GregLaurie3 Kinds Of Storms We Experience - Greg Laurie Published November 6, 2020 I think we all will reach a point in our lives when we ask ourselves, "Does God know what he's doing? Does God actually love us?"

That's because we all face storms in life. In fact, I believe there are three kinds of storms we'll experience as Christians: perfecting storms, protecting storms and correcting storms.

Perfecting storms are trials and hardships in life that God allows us to go through. Sometimes these events seem random, but they never are. We know from Romans 8:28 that "all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (NKJV).

The Bible also promises, "For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever" (2 Corinthians 4:17–18 NLT).

So if you're looking at trouble right now, if you're in the middle of a storm, just remember that it won't last forever. Something will come out of it: an immeasurably great glory.

After Jesus performed his miracle of feeding the five thousand, the disciples faced a protecting storm. The people wanted to make Jesus their king, so he immediately told his disciples to get into a boat and go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.

Let's notice this detail: "Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side" (Matthew 14:22 NKJV, emphasis added).

Jesus didn't order them to get into the boat so they would drown in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. Nor did he promise them calm waters. But they did reach the other side.

The storm the disciples faced that day actually protected them from themselves. God knew that if they had ruled and reigned over the people with Jesus as king, the adulation, praise and power would have certainly destroyed them. So he protected them.

Does it ever seem to you as though you're all alone in your storm and that God can't see you? Nothing escapes his attention. Proverbs 15:3 says, "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good" (NKJV).

Jesus was watching the disciples. He was interceding for them.

Lastly, there are correcting storms, which is the type of storm the prophet Jonah went through. He brought this storm on himself when he refused to do what God told him to do. So God sent a correcting storm because he loved Jonah.

It's hard for us to believe that because he loves us, God would allow a hardship in our lives. It seems that he'd want to protect his children from all difficulties. But remember, God wants us to mature in our faith. And one of the marks of God's love for us is discipline.

My wife, Cathe, and I raised two sons: Jonathan and his older brother, Christopher, who is in Heaven. Now, Christopher was always getting into trouble. I would tell him not to do something, and then two minutes later (or so it seemed), he'd do the very thing that I told him to stop doing.

On the other hand, I could tell Jonathan not to do something just once, and he'd pretty much obey. Of course, I may have been a little overboard with Christopher. As someone has pointed out, all parents owe their first child an apology.

But just as our children are different, God's children are different too. With some, God can simply say, "Don't do that," and they won't. With others, God says, "Don't do that," and they just keep on doing it.

David wrote in Psalm 23, "Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me" (verse 4 NKJV). A shepherd basically had two tools that he carried with him in those days: a rod and a staff. The staff was a long, crooked instrument they used to pull a wayward sheep back in line. The rod is self-explanatory. It was a club.

The shepherd used the rod to defend his sheep if a predator came along, but he had other uses for it as well. He used the staff for the wayward sheep, but if there was one sheep that kept going astray, the shepherd may have used the rod to give the sheep a little whack and get his attention.

In the same way, a wayward Jonah needed something to get his attention. So God sent a perfecting storm. However, when God disciplines us, it isn't to repay us for our disobedience but to get us back into fellowship with him. It's to restore us.

Here's what we need to know: Ultimately, as Christians, we'll live happily ever after, but there might be some rough seas along the way. Jesus said, "In this world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33 NKJV).

Storms are inevitable, and as a Christian, you will learn through storms and experience great victories. And really, which would you rather have: A nice, easy flight and a crash landing or a bumpy flight and a safe landing?

I would like a safe landing myself.

Yet it seems as though some people in life experience no suffering at all, while others seem to go through more than their share of suffering.

Why is this?

I don't know. But I do know this: There is more than just life on this earth. There's eternity. And for non-Christians, life on earth is as good as it will get. But for followers of Jesus Christ, life on earth is as bad as it ever will be. For Christians, the best is yet to come.

So don't run from God; run to him. He loves you. And his plans for you are better than your plans for yourself.

The Bible is the most unique book ever written. It tells the story of the beginning of the world as we know it and the interactions between God and man. Can we trust this remarkable book known as the Bible? "The Bible must be the invention either of good men or angels, bad men or devils, or of God. However, it was not written by good men, because good men would not tell lies by saying 'Thus saith the Lord;' it was not written by bad men because they would not write about doing good duty, while condemning sin, and themselves to hell; thus, it must be written by divine inspiration" (Charles Wesley) This Bible is the basis for all remarks that follow.

God made the decision to create man with many of His own qualities. Think about it, man can create things out of his imagination. We can choose to love unconditionally. But perhaps the greatest likeness is that we can choose to forgive unconditionally. Because of the decision God made to make us so much like Him, you can imagine His dilemma as He observed us use our power of choice for not-so-noble endeavors. In addition to God’s nature to love and forgive, He is the very essence of justice. Hence the problem, how could God remain just and honorable in His relationship to man, while man made choices that were evil, unjust, contrary to the nature of God? For God to remain true and just to Himself, there must be a punishment for evil behaviors exhibited by His most loved creation, man.

The Bible describes God as one eternally existing as three persons, Father, Son, and Spirit. To solve His dilemma with man, God decided that the punishment for man’s evilness would be placed upon Himself (Son). But for justice to be complete, the Son should become a man, be punished as a man, and experience the penalty of death as a man. Not only would the Son suffer death as a man, he would face rejection by the Father.

So the Son became a man as told in the Bible story of the virgin birth. The name of Jesus was given to the Son. Jesus declared the message of God, that man could be reconciled to God by acknowledging Jesus as the Son and that his suffering and death was the punishment for the evilness of man.

The resurrection of Jesus from death proved the accuracy and certainty of his origin, life, and message. Jesus declared that his story must be taught through out the whole world. The Spirit would direct the efforts of man by coming to live within them upon their acceptance that Jesus is the Son of God, confession of their evilness (sins), and asking for forgiveness.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1st John 1:9) 

The original question: Why should I care? Live your life as you so choose. When you die, if you followed the Bible and find it wasn’t true, you’ve lost nothing. However, if you ignored the Bible and find it was true, you’ve lost everything.  I Choose The God Of The Bible!

 

 

GregLaurieA closer look at the 6th Commandment - Greg Laurie Published September 4, 2020. Everywhere we look, we see it: Our culture is awash in violence and murder. We see it in movies and television programs. We see it in music and video games. And we see it in real time.

Just imagine how different our world would be if we would obey this commandment: "You must not murder" (Exodus 20:13 NLT).

The Bible, however, doesn't condemn all killing. The Old Testament book of Numbers, chapter 35, plainly states the difference between killing and murder. All murder is killing, but not all killing is necessarily murder.

For example, if someone were to break into your home with the intent of harming or killing you and the members of your family, do you have the right to defend yourself?

Clearly the answer is yes. We see this supported in the Bible. In fact, Jesus said to his disciples, "Take your money and a traveler's bag. And if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one!" (Luke 22:36 NLT). Why would they need a sword? Obviously, it was for self-defense.

We also know that God has established the military and law enforcement for our own protection, because Romans 13 tells us, "The authorities are God's servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God's servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong" (verse 4 NLT).

Then there's our military, those who serve us in uniform. We should thank God for them. We should also pray for them, because they need our prayers. Some would assert, however, that God is against war.

God is not for war, but there are times when there's a just cause for a war.

In Matthew's gospel, for example, we read about a centurion who approached Jesus and said, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented" (8:6 NLT).

Now, if Jesus were against war and the military, he could have said to this centurion, "Forsake your armor and your weapons and follow me."

Instead Jesus said, "I will come and heal him" (verse 7).

But the centurion replied, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed" (verse 8).

The Bible tells us that "when Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!'" (verse 10). In a way, Jesus commended him.

The literal meaning of the word murder is "to dash in pieces." The Bible never uses this word to describe the death of an animal, the death of an opponent in war, or death that comes through capital punishment.

What I find ironic is that some of the people who oppose capital punishment are in support of abortion on demand. Essentially they're saying, "Spare the guilty and take the life of the innocent." An unborn child in the womb is innocent and has every right to live.

By the way, I will not concede any point on the topic of abortion, because life begins at conception, and we're made in the image of God. If you don't agree with that, then you disagree with the Bible. The psalmist David wrote, "For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:13–14 NKJV).

David goes on to say, "Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed" (verse 16 NLT).

God has a plan for every one of us, even before birth. God said to the prophet Jeremiah, "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart" (Jeremiah 1:5 NLT).

Every child is created by God and should be given the chance to live. As Max Lucado pointed out, "You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on the Earth by the Master Craftsman."

Every child, no matter how he or she was conceived, is loved by God.

Maybe you're thinking, "Well, this doesn't really apply to me. I've never murdered anyone." But Jesus took it a step further in the Sermon on the Mount when he said, "You have heard that our ancestors were told, 'You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.' But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment!" (Matthew 5:21–22 NLT).

Jesus was saying, "You can say that you've never killed anyone, but do you hate someone so much that you wish he were dead? Then, in effect, you're a murderer in your heart."

That hits a little closer to home, doesn't it? Some people are driven by anger and hatred, but hatred is clearly forbidden in Scripture. In fact, the apostle John said, "Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don't have eternal life within them" (1 John 3:15 NLT).

Is there someone whom you have hatred toward?

The Bible tells us, "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:31–32).

As we look at the Ten Commandments, we realize that every one of us has broken some of them. Every one of us has sinned against God. His commandments were not given to make us holy. They were given to show us how unholy we actually are – and to show us how much we need Jesus.

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