Many in our society today hate the bible…they hate the whole concept of absolute truth and absolute authority…The cry of a Post Modern generation as they reject the supernatural is that the bible was written by man and is therefore to be dismissed.
2Timothy3:16-17 says “All scripture is God breathed and is useful for correcting, for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction and for training in all righteousness.”
Accusations against the bible include:-
- It is anti science
- There is no proof God wrote it
- Its easily dismissed
- Its full of contradictions
Here is some thoughts on the Evidence of the Authenticity of the Bible
2 broad categories:
1) External evidence
2) Internal Evidence
3 external evidences that this book is truly a miracle book:
1. The miracle of it’s origination
This book is really a library of books…66 in all. These 66 books were written over a period of 1600…
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If we just gave the control to God! Why are we so afraid to let go and let God take control of our lives?
I was thinking about this the last time I was on a plane. I had worked for an airline a long time, and I knew the precautions they put in place to assure a safe flight. All the same, I was a nervous flier. So, as I was sitting there waiting for take off, I was contemplating this fear, and I realized it was because flying was one thing I had no control over. I couldn’t even fool myself into thinking I had control. No, I was totally at the mercy of the flight crew, the ground crew, those in the control towers, the weather, and the structural integrity of the aircraft itself. I could do nothing to ensure we would take off, fly, and land safely at our destination. As I was thinking about this, God brought a thought to my mind, “like your whole life…control. Let go.”
That was a great moment for me in my faith journey. I immediately intensified my already planned pre-flight prayer. My normal “please calm my fear” prayer had radically changed, and so had my life, as I would soon come to realize.
My prayer when something like this.
God, I realize I have no control over this flight I am about to take, but I also realize I if I had control, I would be helpless to do much. I recognize my fear comes from lack of control but also from the realization that I also lack the understanding to fly this plane, even if I had control. For me to say to the pilot, “do this” or “do that” would be silly. I have no real understanding of the circumstances and needs of the moment.
The eyes of my heart and mind are wide open, God, and I see how I have lived my life a lot like that. I say to the Pilot of my life, “do this” or “do that” when I have no real understanding of my circumstances and the real needs of the moment. I can’t see them from the Pilot’s viewpoint. And so I sit in worry and fear, in despair and depression, and in anxiousness and stress, when all I really need to do is let the Pilot have control and trust Him, knowing that He knows all that is needed for my life at any and every moment. Forgive me, Jesus. Please forgive me. I give you permission to be the Pilot of my life from now on. Amen
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:28-31
Why carry all the burdens when we can just let them go, and let the One who can really make the right course corrections, the right flying decisions, and the perfect weight reduction.
I’m renewing my strength every day now. I know where to go when I’m troubled. I know who to trust with the controls of my life.
I hope you will give your life to the One who can lighten your load and help you renew your strength and soar like the eagles. Life is so much better this way.
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Have you put God on the shelf and left Him to gather dust? I did that. Fortunately, I have long since taken God off the shelf and allowed him access, once again, into my life. However, there was a long time, starting with my post-college days, that I was just busy with life and did not have time for God. I did not go to church. I did not open my Bible. In fact, I could not have even told you where my Bible was. It was probably on a shelf somewhere.
I was young and had the whole world before me. I knew my parent’s generation had really messed up the world, and I was hell-bent on making it better. “Hell-bent” indeed, but I had no idea at the time. I saw the needs of people in poorer countries, and I raised my voice to condemn those that allowed this to continue. Did I actually do anything to help? Well no. I made a lot of noise, but I did not do anything to really make a difference.
It wasn’t until I gave my life to Christ, and asked Him to come into my life, that I began to change. It was when I gave Christ permission to melt me, mold me, fill me, and use me that I began to see people and issues through His eyes and heart. It was then that I stopped making a lot of noise about the way things were, and began to take actions to make a difference in the lives of people around the world, and at home.
Today, I live a modest life and use my money to support a number of worthy causes, from the Wounded Warrior Project, to global service missions like World Vision and Compassion International. I teach a women’s Bible study group so that others can have a stronger walk with the Lord. I pray earnestly for my fellow Christian brothers and sisters who are even at this moment being tortured or killed for their faith, and I look forward to the day I will meet these great examples of faith.
I went from a person so self-absorbed in her own life, that all she could do was verbally complain about the failure of others to a woman who humbly and quietly gives of her time and money to help make a difference. What changed me? What made the difference? God made the difference. When I took God off the shelf and invited Him into my life, my life was changed from a self-gratification seeker to a God-serving seeker, and my life has never been better.
I guess you could say, I’m one who is “collecting treasures in heaven,” but now it just feels so right and so good when I am able to help one more person.
“Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt 6:19-21
Wonder what the world could be like if each person did the same?
Oh, yes, there will be an attack! Be prepared, and do not let yourself be thrown off course. As soon as you commit to following Jesus, you will be under attack. Here is just a sampling of his well-used tactics.
- The distraction tactic: Definition of distraction – “something that interferes with concentration or takes attention away from something else” (Encarta Dictionary: English) Distractions can come in the form of family problems, work problems, illness, attraction to TV, cell phone, Facebook, etc.
- The whispered thought tactic: The Bible gives us an example of this in the story of Eve when Satan said, “Did God really say…” The same can happen to us. For me it was this whisper, “God wouldn’t want you to be unhappy.” Whispers can be things like, “No one could like you,” “Do you really think they would consider you for that job,” “You know you will never measure up” and all the negative thoughts that wander through our minds.
- The craving tactic: What do you love so much that you cannot live without it? That is what Satan will put between you and God. You see, God wants to be first in your life. That means that other thing, that craving, must go. It can become a wall built without your conscious knowledge, which will keep God’s blessings from reaching you.
- The wealth tactic: It is very difficult for us to resist the urge to make or have more money and the things it brings. I believe it is in our genes to crave more money and things. However, what often results is our focus shifts from God and His plan to ourselves and our plan (which is our route to more income or lottery winnings, etc.).
- The success tactic: Oh the lure of success or fame can be very difficult to resist. It too is a distraction that pulls us from our commitment to Christ.
- The control tactic: Do you need to be in control? If you are a person who likes to have a hand on controlling your life or the lives of others, then this is a tool for Satan to use against you. It is one I know well. I had a really hard time giving up control of my life to God, and Satan used it to hold back my growth in faith and trust, but God prevailed in the end. Praise God!
- The fear or worry tactic: Ah, this is a big one, especially for women. I think we women can worry better than men any day. I also think we have bouts with fear more often. All that is not to say men don’t, but I think these emotions run stronger in women. Worry and fear will shut you down if you let it. You end up moving through your day in auto-pilot and lose your ability to think and reason well. It is a wasted day, a day spent in worry or fear, and Satan loves that he has won another day without God in your life.
- The anger tactic: For some, the easiest way to get you distracted is to pump up your anger. It can be so easy for him to do. There are drivers that drive us nuts on our way to work. There are co-workers, customers, and bosses that can make us seethe. After a full day of that, the kids and spouse barely have to do anything and we explode. They bear the brunt of a day full of anger. That doesn’t do too much for the health of our own selves or our families. Another win for Satan.
There are many more tactics that Satan can use, but as you can see, he has some almost open doors to distraction techniques in each of our live. This means we need to be alert and fight back when we feel one of these distractions brewing.
Another word for distraction is temptation. Jesus was tempted right at the beginning of his ministry, because that was the most opportune time for Satan to try to pull him off course. The same is true for us. We are most susceptible to temptation at the start of our acceptance of Christ in our life, and at the point of launching on a new mission, ministry, or service for God.
We are tempted by the evil one to do things, say things, and believe things that will turn us from God. The more we succumb to temptation, the farther we drift away.
Satan is real, and he is alive and working in this world to pull us from our love, worship, and commitment to Christ. For those of you who think Satan, or an evil one does not exist, you have given the evil one the greatest gift of all. You make his job all the easier. Satan is mentioned throughout the Bible from the Old Testament and through the New Testament.
As always, the choice is ours.
I hope you will choose to be on the look-out and keep watch that your life stays in God’s hands, and does not fall into the slimy hands of the evil one.
Everything about the ministry and teachings of Jesus had to do with God first, people next. Take a look at how his ministry started. First Jesus gets baptized by John the Baptist. John knew Jesus was the one the Jews had been waiting for, and so questioned Jesus, “I need to be baptized by you, and you come to me?” (Mt 3:13)
Jesus knew he needed to establish his relationship with God first before he could minister to others. Therefore Jesus began the ministry in a moment of complete shedding of self and accepting God’s will. Jesus had no sins to be washed from him like we do, but he did need to give himself fully to the will of God and the purpose of God, his Father. As he came up out of the water he was greeted with these precious words from his Father, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Mt 3:17)
What an example for us. When we choose to accept Christ, are we genuinely saying to God, “not my will, but yours be done?” Are we stepping out in complete faith and trust?
I don’t know about you, but for me the steps of faith and trust began when I accepted Christ, but as baby steps. There was no “jump in with both feet” reaction with me. I started out with real baby steps, but as God proved faithful over and over, my trust grew, my heart opened, and my faith deepened.
I like where I’m at today, and I look forward to the growth yet to come.
I hope you feel the same, no matter where you are from baby to mature.
Just keep looking up and let the life and teachings of Jesus be your guide.
Then one day, we too will hear precious words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name forever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
and extol your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.
They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They will tell of the power of your awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They will celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
All you have made will praise you, O Lord;
your saints will extol you.
They will tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
so that all men may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is faithful to all his promises
and loving toward all he has made.
The Lord upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down. Ps 145:1-14 NIV 1984
In these verses is my argument against the silence of Christians, who fail to speak out, share with others (especially their own children), and publicly discuss the activity of God in their lives. If one generation fails to lift up the greatness, the compassion, the love, the glory, the mighty acts, and the faithfulness of God, how is the next generation going to learn? All of this is plainly evident to all whose eyes are open to see, but until we are filled with God’s Spirit, we are blind.
As parents we need to gently lead our children to Christ, while at the same time pray that God will open their hearts and minds to His truth and His promises. Then, when they are ready, they will seek Christ and they will find him, and their view of life and their understanding of the value of life and lives will be forever enriched. Then, one day, it will be their turn to pass this on to their children.
I especially want to focus on parents, because I dropped the ball in this area with my own children. Hindsight makes things so much clearer, and I can see clearly the effects of my failing to talk about God in our home.
What we have today is a generation whose parents failed in their primary task – to tell their children about the one true God. I am part of that generation, and I have to confess my part. I do not understand how I missed the importance of my witness to my children. It was not enough that I lived a good life, and that I had strong faith. It was not enough that I went to church, and that I prayed regularly. All that was good, but I failed to talk about my faith, to explain my decisions and to demonstrate how my faith was central in the process. I failed to teach them Bible verses that they could use later in life when they needed God.
In other words, I did not pass on my faith, I only lived it. Living it is very important, but it is only part of the process of raising strong Christian children. Walk the talk, yes, but without the talk the children will never understand the Source for the walk.
Parents I urge you not to make my same mistake. Walk AND talk, make your love of God, your gratefulness for Christ, and your joy with the Spirit known to your precious ones. It is the most important gift you can give them, because it will shape their earthly life, and it will open their hearts for God’s message of grace, forgiveness, and eternity.