Friday, January 29, 2010

In the Beginning God

Isa 40:22 "It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in."

The Eye of God

The Hand of God

Here is what Ravi Zacharias
had to say about the existence of God. It is truly beautiful.

When I see the heavens and the work of Your hands, the moon and the stars, which You have made, what is there in man that You should keep him in mind? For You have set Your glory above the heavens.

No wonder in December 68 boys were going around the dark side of the moon, they vouchsafed a glimpse of the earth given to no human eye. They saw the earth arising over the horizon of the moon, draped in a beauteous mixture of black, blue, and white, garlanded by the glistening light of the sun, against the black void of space. There is only one line that came to their minds, as the world waited-it was the opening lines of the Bible....."In the beginning, God."


Monday, January 11, 2010

Read through the Bible in one year

Not Too Late to Read Through the Bible.  John Piper's site.

We’re now a week and a half into 2010, but it’s not too late to start a read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year plan. After all, you have more than 50 weeks to catch up on what you’ve missed. Or treat your year as January 10, 2010, through January 10, 2011.

Below are several good options.
Discipleship Journal

NavPress’s Discipleship Journal plan has been the most used at Bethlehem for years. I’m back at this one again in 2010, and I would highly recommend it. There are four daily readings (the year starts with Genesis, Psalms, Matthew, and Acts), but it’s only 25 days each month—which leaves some margin for missing here and there when life gets busy.

For Shirkers and Slackers

If “margin for missing” is what you know you need, then this plan from Ransom Fellowship might be right for you. Maybe you’ve tried the other plans in the past and stalled out again and again. This plan assigns certain genres to certain days of the week and breaks biblical books up into sections you can read in one sitting—so without reading everyday, you can still make measurable headway. Pace yourself well and do some extra reading, and you might even finish long before 2010 is over.


This is the classic plan, designed by Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843), the well-remembered Scottish minister who died before his 30th birthday. The plan has readings for every day of the year and will take you once through the Old Testament and twice through the Psalms and the New Testament. (Don Carson’s daily devotionals called For the Love of God are based on the M’Cheyne plan.)

ESV Study Bible

Like the Discipleship Journal plan, the ESV Study Bible plan has you reading in four places: 1) Psalms and wisdom lit, 2) Pentateuch and Israel’s history, 3) Chronicles and prophets, and 4) Gospels and epistles.


With a reading for each day of the year, this plan from Back to the Bible aims to take you through Scripture in chronological order.

Engage Scripture

This new plan from The Journey in St. Louis looks very good. Also check out The Journey’s Engage Scripture page for videos and pdfs giving background info on the biblical books, as Pastor Darrin Patrick takes his congregation through the Bible in 2010.

Hold Fast the Word of Life

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Is America A Christian Nation?

Some are quite emphatic that we are/were a Christian Nation and should act accordingly. Others disagree. Does the Bible answer this question?
I quote...

“Is the United States a Christian nation? Not in its philosophy, or in what it loves, or in what it does. Despite its Christian roots and heritage, the United States today is a nation that follows the god of self, and that is not the heart of Christianity.”
My response...
Let’s examine the above statement as we are “Living in These Last Days”

When examining both sides of this issue whether or not the USA is a “Christian nation” it depends on how in context the term is being defined and used. When we read the definition of “nation” which is: “A people connected by supposed ties of blood generally manifested by community of language, religion, customs, etc. The body of inhabitants of a country united under a single independent government; a state (Webster Dictionary), we can reasonably say that the USA has been and is a “nation of Christians”. Meaning a nation where Christians are inhabitants. But unlike England at the time of our nation’s founding, we do not have an official state church.

Certainly our founding father’s prayed and hoped that the nation would be blessed by God, be founded on biblical principles, and become by majority faithful Christian citizens who would live according to the Lord’s Word apart from government or state control or intervention. That is, Christ’s local churches would be prominent throughout every community and be respected and protected by the Constitution and laws of the land insuring freedom to practice their faith without prejudice or persecution. The same prejudice and persecution profound in Europe and from where the Protestants fled to the New World for religious freedom. So yes, the Protestants/Christians who were elected representatives and leaders of the new world nation made sure that the Constitution of the USA legally protected God’s people so that they may freely worship without the President ever having the power to claim kingship, or the Roman Catholic Church ever being acclaimed by the government to have authority and headship over Christ’s church.

Over time as two centuries and decades have past the US government and politicians have upheld and defended the Constitution on behalf of Christians religious freedom, but also over time the church has failed to maintain its status, stronghold, and dominance in society for lack of unity and bluntly, sin. Christian’s have drifted and have been led astray from Christ preferring to be lovers of pleasure and wooed by what the “world” has to offer politically, socially, and economically. The break down in faith has led to a breakdown of our Christian culture. So when Christian leaders say that we must reclaim America it is directed toward the local church standing upright and making their voices heard and votes counted as well as praying that the nation will be awakened by a revival through the power of the Holy Spirit. That only through actively participating in political and governmental affairs and voting like mindedly would/will Christians ever be able to reestablish the “God and country” relationship as it was intended to be during the days of our founding father’s. Thus the political system is not necessarily the root of the problem, it is Christians who as a body are failing to represent and defend the reputation of Christ and to be counted in unity as a nation of Christians.

During these last days as we eagerly wait for Christ’s return Scripture is being fulfilled according to God’s will and perfect timing. The signs of the close of the age (the end of human history), is at hand as described in Matthew 24 and 25, and the Book of Revelation. Satan, who God allows to be the ruler over every nation, will continue to stir up mass confusion, chaos, corruption, and sin, and nation will continue to rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. The Lord appears to be implying that no nation on earth has been appointed or favored to be His Christian nation exclusively. And that life on earth will continue to degenerate until He returns to save His people whom He has a personal relationship, destroy all evil things, and restore the heaven and earth for His holy eternal kingdom.

Until the Day of His coming we as Christians are to be focused on Him and His kingdom proclaiming His Gospel through out the whole world seeking the lost and helping to set the “captives free” so that they may be saved. Christians are called to be witnesses for Christ in every sector of society thus His local churches must not be disobedient, lukewarm nor complacent (Revelation CH 1-3). Christians are also to be focused on the promise that we are only but visitors here on earth “soon” to be Raptured leaving Satan’s nations to perish.

So yes, Christians are to be actively involved in their community, politically, socially/culturally, and economically but without compromising their faith and Christian lifestyle that God has commanded them to live. In this context it is biblical to say, here and now, that we are a nation of Christians, but not a Christian nation.

Additional information…

What if America Were a Christian Nation Again? By D. James Kennedy
Dear reader what do you think? Comments encouraged and appreciated.