How Could We Know

God spoke from heaven, in six days was done
Light, water, stars, moon, and sun
Fishes and birds and beasts were there
He breathed into dirt and made man oh yeah
He breathed into dirt and He made man

In the Lord’s image, Adam was made
And with him his wife, Eve
This is how we know it was meant to be
Paradise eternal, we are free so free
Paradise eternal, we’re so free

In the beginning God made it all
It was good till we let it fall
Broken and shattered, paradise lost
How could we know what love must cost, O Lord
How could we know what love must cost

It’s true we were tempted, but sin is a choice
We should have listened to God
He gave us a gift, we called it the Law
Then He hung that gift upon the cross yes He did
He hung up there on that old cross

He rose from death, o’er sin victory
Forgiving and setting us free
So if we repent and turn from our sin
Jesus forgives us and gives life again yes he does
Jesus forgives all of our sin

In the beginning God made it all
It was good till we let it fall
Broken and shattered, paradise lost
How could we know what love must cost, O Lord
How could we know what love must cost

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Can anyone explain what the Occupy movement is actually protesting, aside from hard work, prosperity, lawful behavior, and personal hygiene?

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Good News of Jeremiah 36

The Good News of Jeremiah 36
Jer 36:1-3 In the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Take a scroll and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel and Judah and all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah until today. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the disaster that I intend to do to them, so that every one may turn from his evil way, and that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.” If I had no other words from this chapter but these, they would be enough. The entire purpose of God’s visitation with Jeremiah was revealed at the end of verse 3. It is the same purpose God came to Moses with, and it was for the same purpose he sent Christ: “That I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.” Jesus himself said as much when he told Nicodemus “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (Jn3:17). God does not want us to die the eternal death. The good news is this, that eternal life in His presence is available. He has a plan and we can be adopted into the eternal inheritance.

The Fine Print
Jer 36:7 It may be that their plea for mercy will come before the Lord, and that every one will turn from his evil way, for great is the anger and wrath that the Lord has pronounced against this people. Belief does not mean lip service only. It does not mean singing songs or writing blogs. It means repentance. Repentance literally means to turn from one’s sin with Godly remorse for our wrongdoing and applying ourselves to doing what is right and making amends as best we can for our former iniquities. This is the hard part, but throughout scripture it is the common theme. God requires us to be of a mind that we seek Him and His will. His will is only good for us. Our own will, stemming from our corrupted hearts, deceives us and leads us to evil. We must therefore denounce and turn from our fleshly desires and choose to behave in good, clean, moral, and healthy ways. In Jer 36:4-6 Jeremiah gave another man named Baruch a mission to go and read God’s words so that the people would turn from evil and avoid God’s wrath. In verse 8 we learn Baruch did exactly as he was instructed. All of God’s word is good for us, whether we like it or not (2 Tim 3:16).

Truth or Consequence
The balance of Jer 36 tells how the message of God was eventually delivered to the corrupt King Jehoiakim of Judah, who rejected the message and had the scroll burned. By doing this the king flatly rejected God’s correction, including the offer to withhold wrath already well earned by his corruption. Meanwhile, Jeremiah and Baruch were hidden from the king for their own protection by those loyal to God in the king’s service.

Jer 36:30-31 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: He shall have none to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat by day and the frost by night. And I will punish him and his offspring and his servants for their iniquity. I will bring upon them and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem and upon the people of Judah all the disaster that I have pronounced against them, but they would not hear.’” God pronounces judgment against Jehoiakim and the people of Judah for their rejection of Him. This is the consequence of rejecting God and His love, however stern it may seem to those with scaled eyes and calloused hearts.

Jer 36:32 Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah, who wrote on it at the dictation of Jeremiah all the words of the scroll that Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire. And many similar words were added to them. Jeremiah, however, continues on in faith. This is a perfect illustration of the direction given by the apostle Paul in Eph 6:12-13 to stand firm in faith and continue doing what is right in spite of the power of evil in high places.

Good News Summary
God wants to forgive sin. He came in the man Jesus and suffered for us. He did everything we are unable to do. This leaves us with what we can do. We must decide who we will serve – ourselves or God. One choice leads to destruction, the other to eternal life. I challenge you to choose this day whom you will serve.

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Quote of the Day – Thomas Jefferson

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive.

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Whoever it was who said, “What goes up must come down” must not understand the divine.

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Quote of the Day

It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation which give happiness.

— Thomas Jefferson

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Good News of Proverbs 20

Summary by Verse
V1: Drunks are fools.
V2: Don’t piss off the king.
V3: Don’t lower yourself to arguing over dumb stuff.
V4: Be lazy = go hungry.
V5: Deep thoughts are available to deep thinkers.
V6: Many talk a good game, but few are for real.
V7: Children are blessed by good parents.
V8: Judgmental people see evil everywhere.
V9: Nobody’s perfect.
V10: God hates cheaters.
V11: Actions speak louder than words.
V12: Vision and hearing are gifts from God.
V13: Lazy people are poor, but if you stay on your toes you’ll be fine.
V14: (See the “good news” section below.)
V15: Truth is better than a good novel.
V16: Take care of what you are entrusted with.
V17: Treasures stolen don’t satisfy.
V18: Talk over plans before you do something serious.
V19: People who can’t shut up are dangerous – don’t listen to them.
V20: Dissing your parents is sure to be bad for you.
V21: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
V22: Don’t be hasty for vengeance – the Lord will deal with it in due time.
V23: God really hates cheaters.
V24: God knows where we’re going and since we aren’t God, we can’t see it.
V25: Don’t blindly accept things at face value, even when they appear good.
V26: Face and defeat evil.
V27: You can’t keep a secret from God.
V28: Love will keep us together.
V29: The young can brag about their brawn, but gray hair has its own bragging rights.
V30: Tough love can do a lot of good.

Good News of Proverbs 20
Proverbs 20:14 “Bad, Bad,” says the buyer, but when he goes away, then he boasts. The seller has a good product. The buyer wants to get the best deal possible, so in negotiation he tells the seller his product is no good. When he gets the product cheap, he leaves happy with himself and brags to his buddies.

Are you a buyer or a seller? With regard to the Good News, if you’re a buyer then you’re “in the market” for a Savior. If you’re a seller then you’re evangelizing. If you think you are neither, then I’ve got a message for you, too…

Attention Sellers:
A good product sells itself. Simply show it and mention what it does for you. A seller who looses the sale on a product as good as Jesus Christ isn’t presenting the product and allowing it to do the selling. Jesus Christ isn’t a mere product and in spite of what you might be thinking, he isn’t for sale. The “sale” is a metaphor for a person becoming born again. Some people think the parable of the talents (Mt 25:18-30) means we get credit for providing salvation. Some evangelists come to believe they are responsible for saving souls. Here’s some good news for you. Jesus saves. Not me, not you, not Billy Graham or Rick Warren or any preacher. No man can save your eternal soul except Jesus Christ (Pr 20:9). You don’t have to keep score and you don’t get credit. The Pharisees moaned when they fasted and made spectacles of themselves whenever they did a good deed so they could be seen by men. God searches the soul and knows the heart (The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts. Pr 20:27). Don’t be smug or egotistical or vain in your work. God knows your heart and he knows if you’re motivated for selfish reasons or if you truly love him. Jesus used the word “love” a lot. Love is the treasure, and you don’t get to keep it. To get love, you must give it away for free. So, the good news for the seller is you can give away love because there will always be more, there’s no score card to keep, and you don’t have to save anyone because Jesus saves. (Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. – Mt 11:28)

Attention Buyers:
You can’t buy eternal life. It is a gift. The biggest excuse given for refusing the free gift of eternal life is the lousy example given of so called born again Christians. I can sight a million bad examples of Christianity. The “hard sell” is at the top of my list, and I think it is for a lot of other people, too. It isn’t about what someone says, its about what they do. The thing is, it doesn’t matter what people do, it matters what Jesus did. He changed my life and he can change yours, too. I’m a lousy example, but I once was a very lost soul. I’ve failed him, I’ve run from him, I’ve boasted arrogantly and I’ve cried from the floor. Jesus loves me anyway. I don’t deserve it and I can’t explain it, he just simply loves me. No amount of good deeds will get you to heaven. Good comes from you when he comes to you, not the other way around. You can’t buy it and you can’t trick God into giving you eternal life. The catch is you can only get it from one person, Jesus Christ. He lived a sinless life, spoke openly and constantly of his heavenly father whom he loved with all his heart, and died like any other sinful man. Unlike any other sinful man, his sinlessness made his death an acceptable replacement for ours if we choose to accept his gift. We know we have hope for eternal life because Jesus returned from the dead, victorious over death, and he promises our death is also defeated. (And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” – Luke 24:5-7) He doesn’t ask us to do anything. He does ask us to acknowledge who he his, our risen Lord, and he asks us to join his family. If our love is genuine, our heart will desire to labor with him in this world as a brother (or sister). If we do this, if we trust him, we will willingly submit our thrown of power over ourselves to his authority, we will receive far more than we could acquire as our own ruler. By this I mean eternal life. No man can save you. Not me, not a pastor, not an evangelist. Only Jesus Christ can save you. He loves you, too, and his hand is open to you. Submission doesn’t mean becoming a slave, it means freedom. Through submission you will learn what being elevated is really about. While it isn’t a license to behave any way we want, it is freedom from the bondage of sin and hopelessness and certain death. Choose life. Choose Jesus.

Attention Everyone Else:
Rev 3:15-19 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Apathy will not get you to heaven. Denial certainly will not.

If you claim to be a born again Christian, but you aren’t living in submission to the authority of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master, you’re living a lie and by the life you lead you are deceiving others with a false impression of Christ. God hates cheaters (Pr 20:10 & 23). If you’re the Christian who thinks your church membership is enough, if you think your tithes are enough, you missed the point completely. This passage in Rev 3 is about you.

If you don’t claim Christianity and you don’t think you need Jesus, you’re ill informed about who he is or you’re walking in denial. You’re a potential buyer and I hope you’ll at least open you’re heart and let Jesus give his pitch to save your soul.

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