Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Words of Comfort: Healthy Appetite.


A healthy baby has a healthy appetite. If you have truly been “born” of the Spirit of God, you will have a healthy appetite. The Bible says, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). Feed yourself daily without fail. Job said, “I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12). The more you eat, the quicker you will grow, and the less bruising you will have. Speed up the process and save yourself some pain—vow to read God’s Word every day,without fail. Say to yourself, “No Bible, no breakfast. No read, no feed.” Be like Job, and put your Biblebefore your belly. If you do that, God promises that you will be like a fruitful, strong, and healthy tree (Psalm 1). Each day, find somewhere quiet and thoroughly soak your soul in the Word of God.

There may be times when you read through its pages with great enthusiasm, and other times when it seems dry and even boring. But food profits your body whether you enjoy it or not. As a child, you no doubt ate desserts with great enthusiasm. Perhaps vegetables weren’t so exciting. If you were a normal child, you probably had to be encouraged to eat them at first. Then, as you matured in life you were taught to discipline yourself to eat vegetables, because they benefit you physically even though they may not bring pleasure to your taste buds.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Words of Comfort: DSS


By William F. Albright

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) at Qumran in 1949 had significant effects in corroborating evidence for the Scriptures. The ancient texts, found hidden in pots in cliff-top caves by a monastic religious community, confirm the reliability of the Old Testament text. These texts, which were copied and studied by the Essenes, include one complete Old Testament book (Isaiah) and thousands of fragments, representing every Old Testament book except Esther. The manuscripts date from the third century B.C. to the first century A.D. and give the earliest window found so far into the texts of the Old Testament books and their predictive prophecies. The Qumran texts have become an important witness for the divine origin of the Bible, providing further evidence against the criticism of such crucial books as Daniel and Isaiah.

Dating the Manuscripts. Carbon-14 dating is a reliable form of scientific dating when applied to uncontaminated material several thousand years old. Results indicated an age of 1917 years with a 200-year (10 percent) variant. Paleography (ancient writing forms) and orthography (spelling) indicated that some manuscripts were inscribed before 100 B.C. Albright set the date of the complete Isaiah scroll to around 100 B.C.—“there can happily not be the slightest doubt in the world about the genuineness of the manuscript.”

Archaeological Dating. Collaborative evidence for an early date came from archaeology. Pottery accompanying the manuscripts was late Hellenistic (c. 150–63 B.C.) and Early Roman (c. 63 B.C. to A.D. 100). Coins found in the monastery ruins proved by their inscriptions to have been minted between 135 B.C. and A.D. 135. The weave and pattern of the cloth supported an early date. There is no reasonable doubt that the Qumran manuscripts came from the century before Christ and the first century A.D.

Significance of the Dating. Previous to the DSS, the earliest known manuscript of the Old Testament was the Masoretic Text (A.D. 900) and two others (dating about A.D. 1000) from which, for example, the King James version of the Old Testament derived its translation. Perhaps most would have considered the Masoretic text as a very late text and therefore questioned the reliability of the Old Testament wholesale. The Dead Sea Scrolls eclipse these texts by 1,000 years and provide little reason to question their reliability, and further, present only confidence for the text. The beauty of the Dead Sea Scrolls lies in the close match they have with the Masoretic text—demonstrable evidence of reliability and preservation of the authentic text through the centuries. So the discovery of the DSS provides evidence for the following:

1) Confirmation of the Hebrew Text
2) Support for the Masoretic Text
3) Support for the Greek translation of the Hebrew Text (the Septuagint). Since the New Testament often quotes from the Greek Old Testament, the DSS furnish the reader with further confidence for the Masoretic texts in this area where it can be tested. (Generated from Norman Geisler, “Dead Sea Scrolls,” Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics).

From, The Evidence Bible

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Words of comfort: Really Saved?


If you speak to someone who professes to know God and you are not certain of their salvation, simply ask if they have been “born again” (see John 3:1–7). If you find that they are not sure (this is one sign that they haven’t—1 John 5:10) or they say that they haven’t, here is how you can bring focus to its importance. Tell them that the difference between believing in God and being born again is like the difference betweenbelieving in a parachute and putting it on. There’s a big difference when you jump from the plane. Then say, “Do you know what convinced me that I had to be born again? It was the Ten Commandments.” Then take them through the spiritual nature of the Law, which brings the knowledge of sin (Romans 7:7). 

If you’re not sure how to do this, see www.needGod.com

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Words of Comfort: Millionaire's Son.


A true story is told of a millionaire who had a portrait of his beloved son painted before the son went to war. He was tragically killed in battle, and shortly afterward, the heartbroken millionaire died.

His will stated that all his riches were to be auctioned, specifying that the painting must sell first. Many showed up at the auction, where a mass of the rich man’s wealth was displayed. When the painting was held up for sale, there were no bids made. It was an unknown painting by an unknown painter of the rich man’s uncelebrated son, so sadly, there was little interest.

After a few moments, a butler who worked for the man remembered how much the millionaire loved his son, decided to bid for it, and purchased the portrait for a very low price. Suddenly, to everyone’s surprise the auctioneer brought down his gavel and declared the auction closed. The rich man’s will had secretly specified that the person who cared enough to purchase the painting of his beloved son was also to be given all the riches of his will.

This is precisely what God has done through the gospel. He who accepts the beloved Son of God also receives all the riches of His will—the gift of eternal life and “pleasures for evermore.” They become “joint heirs” with the Son (Romans 8:16, 17).   

From, The Evidence Bible

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Words of Comfort: Extending Life.


James 5:20 says, “Let him know, that he which converts the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” There is no higher calling than to (with the help of God) turn a sinner from the error of his ways. A surgeon may extend someone’s life, but death eventually takes the person. Our work has eternal consequences.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Words of Comfort: From Elvis to Lucy to Jimmy Stewart.


Millions of people spend dozens of hours each week watching dead people on TV. From Elvis to Lucy to Jimmy Stewart, the faces of folks who no longer exist entertain us. Time not only snatched their looks, it snatched their lives. Today, good-looking Hollywood stars are making movies so that tomorrow’s generation can also pass the time by watching dead people on TV. Time makes today tomorrow’s memory. Each weekend seems to pass us by like blurred telephone poles flashing past the window of the speeding train of life.

If I purchased a new car and saw in the owner’s manual that it had a certain type of engine, I shouldn’t be surprised to lift the hood and find the engine to be exactly as the manual stated. The maker’s handbook gives me insight into the unseen workings of the vehicle. This is also true with human beings.

The Maker’s manual tells us how each of us thinks and why we react the way we do. It lifts the hood and reveals the inner workings of homo sapiens.  In doing so, the Bible discloses an often-overlooked tool that we can use to reach the lost. That tool is the sinner’s will to live. Every Sane human being has a dread of death (see Hebrews 2:15). He doesn’t want to die. He sits wide-eyed, staring out the window of the speeding train watching life pass him by. Get off the train, and get a life. See www.needGod.com for details.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Words of Comfort: Roosevelt and the Bible.


The idea for the American government’s divided powers came directly from Scripture. Isaiah 33:22 says,

“For the Lord is our Judge [the judicial branch], the Lord is our Lawgiver [the legislative branch], the Lord is our King [the executive branch].”

Our Founding Fathers knew that separated powers were needed because of man’s inherent sinfulness and desire for control—and what better model could there be for a government than the Lord who governs the universe.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “The teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally—I do not mean figuratively, I mean literally—impossible for us to figure to ourselves what life would be if these teachings were removed.” 

From, The Evidence Bible

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Words of comfort: Giving away $40,000


A Christian farmer in western Kansas felt sure that God spoke to him to give his $40,000 hail insurance to missions. So, in faith he gave the money, trusting that God would protect his crop. Sure enough, the hail came and severely damaged all his neighbor’s crops, but not his.

In contrast, there is a well-known story about a brilliant tightrope artist named Blondin, who pushed a wheelbarrow across Niagara Falls. After he had walked to the other side, the crowd roared with applause at his amazing feat. He asked a small boy in the crowd if he believed that Blondin could walk back. The boy said, “Yes, sir!” He then asked if the boy thought he could do it with him in the wheelbarrow. The boy said he believed he could do it, to which the famous tightrope walker said, “Good! Jump in then and I will take you!” The boy would not get in.

Here are two different types of faith. The farmer had faith that he had heard from God; he was so sure that he was prepared to step out. But the boy’s faith was (understandably) lacking; he wasn’t prepared to step out, and get in. Many sincere folks have a measure of faith in Jesus, but they have never trusted in Him. In that sense, their faith, because it doesn’t have works with it, is dead.    

From, The Evidence Bible

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Words of Comfort: Your Reflection.


The only way you and I can see ourselves in truth is to look into a mirror. Yet a mirror can only do its job and reflect truth if there is bright light. In Scripture, the Law of God (the Ten Commandments) is called both a mirror (James 1:23–25; 2:11,12) and light (Proverbs 6:23). Many of today’s “converts” aren’t shown the mirror of the Law. We think that a long look at what they are in truth will be too painful for them, so “All have sinned” is all we tell them. Without the conviction of their own sin, they are stillborn with no life in them. That’s what happened to so many on this site, who now call themselves atheists.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Words of Comfort: Not to save men...


In speaking of the Ten Commandments, D. L. Moody said, “God, being a perfect God, had to give a perfect Law, and the Law was given not to save men, but to measure them. I want you to understand this clearly, because I believe hundreds and thousands stumble at this point. They try to save themselves by trying to keep the Law; but it was never meant for men to save themselves by.”  

To see the Law’s power to do this, do the test: www.needGod.com

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