Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Today’s Show Notes: Tuesday, 8th January 2013.

Encouraging email

(Email from Ashley) “. . . On the Box, the Way of the Master, 180, Genius & everything your ministry does . . . impacted my life, my husband’s life, our friends lives (their children's lives), and unsaved people’s lives so greatly . . . Thank you so much for all you produce! My girl friends & I all look up to Ray like a dad & teacher (I'm sure our husbands feel the same!). E.Z., Mark, Scotty & Team, THANK YOU for your teaching & wonderful example! On the Box is my favorite TV show! We appreciate this ministry so much and love & support your partnering ministries, churches, pastors & friends . . . We're so happy to have friends like you who encourage us, teach us, dig into deep issues and are real! My gratitude cannot be expressed. Thank you.

P.S. We love Ray so much, we're all starting to look like him!”

What Hollywood Believes – Madonna

BIRTH NAME: Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone

Madonna was asked, “You believe in God?” to which she replied, “Absolutely.”

Several years ago, Madonna began studying Kabbalah, a Jewish mystical tradition based on spiritual laws of the universe. She explains, “Kabbalah helped me understand that there is a bigger picture and that being well-intentioned is great, but if you don’t live your life according to the laws of the universe, you bring chaos into your life.” Raised Catholic, Madonna stated, “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the teachings of Jesus, but I am suspicious of organized religion. Kabbalah has nothing to do with organized religion. It’s not judgmental. It’s a manual for living.”

Some people consider Christianity to be judgmental, in that it labels certain actions and even thoughts as immoral, and it is exclusive. At Christianity’s core is its claim that there is only one way for people to find forgiveness of sins. However, it seems that those who view Christianity as intolerant and judgmental should be more tolerant toward it, and not have a judgmental attitude about its exclusive nature.

Their thinking is often based on the incorrect notion that people will go to hell “because they don’t believe in Jesus,” or that those who have never heard of Jesus Christ will be condemned. This makes no sense at all. It seems unreasonable that God would eternally damn anyone just for not believingsomething. However, it makes more sense in the light of the following thought.

If a man jumps out of a plane without a parachute, he will perish because he transgressed the law of gravity. Had he put on a parachute, he would have been saved. In one sense, he perished because he didn’t put on the parachute. But the primary reason he died was because he broke the law of gravity.

If a man refuses to trust in Jesus Christ when he passes through the door of death, he will perish. This isn’t because he refused to trust in the Savior, but primarily because he transgressed the Law of God. Had he “put on the Lord Jesus Christ,” he would have been saved; but because he refused to repent, he will suffer the full consequences of his sin. Sin is not “failing to believe in Jesus.” Sin is “transgression of the Law.”

So Madonna was correct in pointing out, “If you don’t live your life according to the laws of the universe, you bring chaos into your life”—both this one, and the life to come.

She also candidly admitted, “The only thing that matters is the state of our soul, and that’s very hard because I’m in the entertainment business, which is completely based on illusion and physical things. Any success I have is a manifestation of God. It’s my ego that wants to claim ownership. It’s hubris, arrogance and greed.”

(Email from Paul) “Hi, I'm 14 years old and I'm a recently converted Christian who was once an agnostic. I have a few issues, however, interfacing with my faith. Firstly, I don't know how to read a bible. Do I read cover to cover, verse by verse, or what? Also, my parents are both atheists, God forgive them, and I'm not permitted to go to a church. How can I be Christian without going to a church to worship my Lord?”

1) Where does he start reading the Bible?

The section called “John” is a terrific place to start.

John 20:30 says, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

John was written to share about Jesus, the foundation of our faith. Learning first from Him is a great start. From there it will lead to Acts, which will share about how the early church was founded and what they did as believers of Jesus. The next section, or book as it’s called, is Romans. Romans will dish out some of rich truths about who God is and how we should view life. Then, just keep going through till the end. Then starting at Genesis could be a place to go.

Your bookmark is your friend. Read a few chapters, and then pick up tomorrow where you left off. Consistency is key. Read every day and get to know God.

There is an old story of an elderly woman who, upon her deathbed, gave her grandson $30,000 and “my Bible and all that’s in it.” The young man thought he knew what was in the Bible so he didn’t bother to read it. He put the Bible on top of his bookshelf and headed for Las Vegas. It wasn’t long before his money was all spent. He lived the next 50 years of his life barely making it by. As he was packing up to move to a retirement home, he reached up to grab that old dust covered Bible and accidentally dropped it from his trembling hands. It fell to the floor and opened. To his utter shock a $100 bill fell out. He found that between every page his grandmother had placed a hundred dollar bill. That man lived his life as a beggar when he could have lived as a king, simply because of his prejudice. He thought he knew what was in the Bible. How wrong he was. Many think they know what’s in the Bible but until it is actually opened no one can really know its greatness. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). We feed our bodies grub all the time (if you’re like me, lots of cheeseburgers and pizza) to keep us healthy (well, kinda healthy). If we don’t grub, we get puny. Same thing goes spiritually. If you don’t grub on the Bible you’ll get spiritually weak. Imagine you see a scrawny little kid limping around, looking like he’s gonna faint any second. You go up to him and say, “Hey kid, are you OK? You don’t look so good.” The kid tells you, “Thanks for caring, but I’m doing fine. I just haven’t eaten in a few days.” You freak out and say, “Kid, why haven’t you been eating?” He responds, “It’s not because I can’t afford food, I just haven’t felt like eating lately.” What would you say to that? I think you’d say something like, “Kid, what’s wrong with you! If you don’t eat you’re gonna die! No food = no life! You need to eat right away!” That may seem like an unrealistic story, but the same thing happens to people spiritually all the time. They go days, weeks and even months without grubbing on God’s Book and say, “I just haven’t felt like reading the Bible lately.” That’s craziness! You’ve got to feed yourself from the Bible often if you’re going to be spiritually healthy.

Psalm 119:105: “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”

2) Parents are atheists, won’t let him go to church

· Perhaps you could very respectfully ask your parents for permission to go, even if they just drop you off at church and pick you up, or maybe you could get a ride with a friend (either way, you could mention that they don’t have to come). You can simply say that they’ve taught you to be a freethinker and be open to the world of possibilities. You would like to further explore the Bible and would like to begin to attend church.

· If they’re adamantly not willing to let you go, in a few years you will be able to drive and given greater freedoms. In the meantime, honor your parents and find other ways to get solid Bible teaching and fellowship.

· You can get solid teaching online (On The Box, church sermons, etc.).

· For fellowship, perhaps your parents would allow you to join a church youth group. To some unbelieving parents it’s a middle ground, because it’s solely a place for youth. They might budge for that. If that won’t work, most public schools have Christian clubs that meet on campus, these are a great ways to meet other believers. If you aren’t allowed to do that, be praying that God will draw other Christian friends into your life whom you can fellowship (hang out time where you can build each other up about God and support each other).