Written and submitted by: Stephen A. Brown, Marketplace Ministries, inc
J. Greham Machen wrote, “Nothing surprises God; all things that happen are absolutely certain from all eternity because they are all embraced in God’s eternal plan.” I don’t understand why things happen the way they do; but I’m glad to know the One who does. Regardless of what’s happening with government, the stock market, or terrorism, we know He has a personal plan for each of us. Claim God’s promise as written in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
In November 2019, FOX News released a study by Nick Lane, a London college professor, suggesting life began in deep sea heated pockets; in opposition to Darwin’s unproven theory that life originated in a warm little pond. The debate goes on as researchers ignore the greater body-of-evidence that supports a Creator. Ken Ham’s Creation Museum in Kentucky proves life began with God. Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” We know what educated scientists cannot comprehend.
John 8:32, Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Psychologist James Hillman wrote a paper: The Force of Character and the Lasting Life. He stated, “Every one of us is our own diety.” This belief is identified as humanism. Satan, the garden snake, continues the same lie. Self-worship is dominate in our culture; individualism is destroying our country. Former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George wrote, “Statesmanship and diplomacy have failed. The only remedy is Jesus Christ. It is either Christ or Chaos.”
The movie OVERCOMER deals with forgiveness and endurance. A high-school girl training for a long-distance run, learns the identify of her father who was a champion runner. Her father had become addicted to drugs and abandoned his little girl. Her father comes to Christ and ask his daughter for forgiveness; she forgives him and he helps her win the race. Hebrews 10:36,”For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” I love the song, VICTORY IN JESUS.
2 Timothy 3:15 tells us that Holy Scriptures make us wise for salvation by faith in Christ Jesus. There is a car wash in my hometown named A WASH TO THE WISE. Growing up my mom would often say, “a word to the wise”, then share her words of wisdom. Sure wish I had paid more attention. James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all literally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
The television series LONG ISLAND MEDIUM draws an audience attracted to the spirit world. Theresa Caputo claims to connect with the dead on behalf of the living. Old Testament King Saul abandoned God, consulting with a witch. Saul’s decision to forsake the Lord, cost him his life. In 1 Samuel 15:23, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft . . . Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.” The prophet Isaiah asked this question in 8:19, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter, should not a people seek their God?”
Atlanta declared Sunday, October 13, 2019, Pride-on-Peach. A parade on Peachtree Street celebrating the gay lifestyle. CBS covered the perverted parade. Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction.” Dr. Billy Graham’s wife Ruth once stated that if God does not destroy America, He will have to apologize and restore Sodom and Gomorrah. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:9 that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God. The U. S. Supreme Court confirmed gay/lesbian marriage, and that night our White House was lighted with the colors of the rainbow. God hates sin, but loves sinners. How long will He allow this depravity?
Proverbs 14:16 states that a fool is self-confident. I was in a book store and noticed the SELF HELP section. I took a few minutes to survey the titles. One book caught my attention: Wake Up & Live (Formula For Success That Really Works). Book promotes self strength to live a successful life. This is opposite to what the Bible teaches. Ephesians 6:10, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” Remember the children’s song, “we are weak, but He is strong.” Isaiah 40:29. “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Judges 16 is the account of Samson & Delilah.Three times she ask him the source of his strength; three times he lied. Each time she called her lords to seize him, he broke the bonds. Now, you would think he would not trust her, but he told her the truth which resulted in his being blinded, chained and forced into slave labor. Stupid Samson; from strong servant to captured convict. His parents urged him to seek a sweetheart among his people, but he would not listen. His disobedience cost him his freedom. In the same way, too many believers fail to follow the Father’s instruction regarding sexual sin, and fall on their face. Jesus is standing-by with his hand extended.
Matthew 6:12 “And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” In 2018 Police Officer Amber Guyer shot and killed Botham Jean, a 28 year old accountant. Video showed Guyer in uniform, walking and talking on her cell phone at her apartment complex at night. She mistakenly entered the wrong apartment, saw Jean and shot him in the heart. She was convicted of murder; the courtroom was surprised when Jean’s brother Brante spoke words forgiveness, urging Amber to seek Jesus. He ask Judge Tammy Kemp for permission to give her a hug. The judge agreed, and the two of them ran together in tears; all captured by a news crew and aired on TV. Author Max Lucado wrote, “You will never forgive anyone more than GOD has already forgiven you.”
By: Stephen A. Brown, Marketplace Ministries, inc.
Psalm 119:130, “The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand.” (NLT) Mark Twain wrote, “It’s not the things in the Bible I don’t understand that bother me, it’s the things I do.” The Word will often convict the reader by identifying sin. Anyone who claims the Bible contradicts itself should research the scriptures, for there is no evidence to support this claim. The Word of God does contradict a sinful lifestyle.
The religion of Islam was founded by the prophet Mohammad. He is quoted, “I know the way.” Jesus said, “I am the way . . .” John 14:6. It cannot get any easier to understand than that. Acts 2:28, “You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.” Time will prove that God’s Word is true.
Everyone likes the smell of a new car; but it doesn’t take long for it to disappear. Followed by dirt on the floor mats, coffee stains on the console, and accumulated fast-food wrappers. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation …” When we become new, we have that sweet smell of salvation. However, sometimes we lose that fragrance by failing to renew ourselves daily with prayer and Bible study. It’s time for a car wash.
None of us likes sudden crises, but God allows those times to place our faith in the Father. Jerry Bridges wrote, “God will never allow any action against you that is not in accord with His will for you.” I know that is tough to read; it was tough to write. Spiritual maturity comes by trusting in the Lord. “As long as we continue to trust in our own abilities we shall avail nothing.” D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Hebrews 4:15, Let us approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need.
I read a story about a little girl who was frightened during a thunderstorm at night. She ran to her parents and jumped into their bed. Her father said, “Don’t worry Honey, the Lord will protect you.” She responded, “I know Daddy, but right now, I need someone with skin on.” Because Jesus is God with skin on, we can run to Him when sudden storms hit hard. One day we will see Him with skin on, including scars; until then His Holy Spirit lives within us to protect and comfort us. Colossians 3:15, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts.”
By: Stephen A. Brown, Marketplace Ministries, inc.
A recent poll showed that worry is the number one negative emotion facing Americans. Second place is fear. I believe the two are connected. Western bandit Black Bart robbed Wells Fargo stagecoaches. From 1875-83, he committed 29 robberies, never once firing his gun. Bart used fear to keep his victims paralyzed. Satan wants to robe us of our joy by planting fearful thoughts in our mind.
1 John 4:18 (paraphrase) love removes fear. Remember, God is love. 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” Don’t be a victim, be a victor.