Let Us Rejoice – He is Risen

Jesus, The Anointed One, is Risen!

Alive forevermore

By The Father’s grace

We are Risen from the dead in Him

So let us consider ourselves to be dead to our sinful nature

Alive to God in the Risen Christ

Not letting sin reign in our mortal body

Presenting ourselves to God as those alive from the dead

The members of our body as weapons of righteousness

For our sinful nature SHALL NOT be master over us

Let us be a DAILY offering of love and obedience to our Mighty God and Savior

Conducting ourselves in His resurrected Life by the power of His Holy Spirit

Bless His Pure, Awesome, Holy, Life-giving Name

Thank you Almighty God

The Blessed — According To Psalm 1

While antiquing with my wife I found a small, black, worn book on a piece of furniture which turned out to be The Amplified Old Testament (Part Two- Job to Malachi – 1962) The translation’s purpose is “intended to reveal, together with the single English equivalent to each key Hebrew word, any other clarifying shades of meaning that many have been concealed by the traditional word-for-word method of translation.”

Martin Luther, who “spiritualized Germany and made the German language” with his translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, stated this about the Hebrew Scriptures:

“The words of the Hebrew tongue have a peculiar energy. It is impossible to convey so much so briefly in any other language. To render them intelligibly we must not attempt to give word for word, but only aim at the sense and the ‘original Authors] idea.” (Table Talk)

Evidently, the Hebrew language contains so much more in one word than our English language. Similar, I guess, to the Greek language in which the New Testament was written.

With this in mind, I wanted to share with you Psalm 1 out of the Amplified version so you can enjoy all of the shades of meanings. We recently shared a post on Christian meditation entitled …the righteous will flourish like a green leaf which was based on Psalm 1. Enjoy. Carl

“Blessed –happy, fortunate, prosperous and enviable–is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly (following their advice, their plans and purposes), nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful and the mockers gather.

But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law –the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God — he habitually meditates, ponders and studies by day and by night. [2 Tim. 3:16; Gal 3:1-29; Rom 13:8-10]

And he shall be like a tree firmly planted and tended by the streams of water, ready to bring forth his fruit in its season; his leaf also shall not fade or wither, and everything he does shall prosper and come to maturity. [Jer.17:7, 8.]

Not so the wicked — those disobedient and living without God are not so. But they are like the chaff [worthless, dead, without substance] which the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked, those disobedient and living without God, shall not stand justified in the judgement; nor sinners in the congregation of the (consistently) righteous — those who are upright and in right standing with God.

For the Lord knows and is fully acquainted with the way of the (consistently) righteous; but the way of the ungodly — those living outside God’s will — shall perish, end in ruin and come to nought.

Former Atheist and World- Renowned Biologist Shares How He Came to Believe In Jesus Christ

Dear Reader: My sharing of this article is in no way an endorsement of evolutionary origins or fetal tissue research. But praise God, He is still in the business of answering man’s questions and revealing Himself to those who are seeking Him. If you have doubts and questions that make you reject the existence of God, I pray this article answers some of your questions. Carl

By Samuel Smith via The Christian Post

National Institutes of Health Director and world-renowned biologist Francis Collins shared the long process of how he was led to faith in Christ after an encounter with a terminally-ill patient left him pondering one of life’s great existential questions.

Collins, a 68-year-old evangelical geneticist who is credited with discovering genes associated with a number of diseases and is the founder of the Human Genome Project, took off his federal government hat this week, to take part in a conference hosted by an organization he founded over a decade ago.

Collins spoke to over 300 pastors, scientists and scholars gathered at the Hyatt Regency in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for BioLogos 2019, a two-and-a-half day conference hosted by the BioLogos Foundation, which exists to show that faith and science are not in conflict through the advocacy of Evolutionary Creationism viewpoints on origins. 

The conference celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the first BioLogos conference and the launch of the organization’s website, which has served as an online resource for many pondering questions around the intersection of faith and science.

Shortly after launching BioLogos, Collins stepped away when he was asked by former President Barack Obama to serve as the head of the U.S. agency primarily responsible for biomedical and public health research.

On Wednesday evening, Collins gave a 20-minute speech detailing how he was led from a life of atheism to a walk with Christ by confirming God’s truths in the physical and scientific realities presented throughout the world.

While many Christian scientists wrestle with how they can bridge what they have learned in their fields with their faiths, Collins says that his faith has never come into conflict.

More than ever, the world needs to hear the synthesis of science and faith is possible, not just forcing it and saying, ‘This will have to do,’” Collins explained. “It is joyful. It is an opportunity for worship. I didn’t always know that.”

Collins then told the crowd that he couldn’t believe that he was standing before them speaking at the BioLogos conference when reflecting back on who he was at the age of 21 or 22, as a graduate student in physical chemistry at Yale University.

At that point in Collins’ life, he had adopted a sense of “metaphysical naturalism,” what he called a “reductionist attitude” or the belief that “nothing really matters except what can be measured through science.”

Collins believed at the time, that faith was basically a superstition left over from an earlier age that should be shrugged off, to “move forward.”

He explained that this belief partly came from the fact that he was raised in a home where faith was not considered overly important.

It was convenient to assume there was not a God,” he said. “By the time I was a graduate student, I was an atheist. It was not a particularly well-thought through position. But it was my position and it is not so different, I suspect, than many others around me at that time or ones that we would find today in a university undergraduate dormitory or graduate classroom.”

Although he loved second-order differential equations, Collins eventually felt compelled to switch studies and apply to medical school in order to learn about the science of the human body. He was accepted at the University of North Carolina.

While at UNC, Collins said he maintained his atheism. However, he recalled that there were Christian medical students who would invite him to come sit with them at lunch. He explained that he tried to avoid them as much as he could because he thought they were “weird.”

But over the course of his time in medical school, the experiences he was having began to change. It was no longer just an intellectual exercise to think about life and death.

“Because as a third-year medical student, one is then put into the clinical experiences of sitting at the bedside of people that have terrible diseases, most of which at that point we really didn’t have answers or our answers were pretty incomplete,” Collins said. “That began to trouble me because I saw in their eyes what someday might be my circumstance.”

Collins said he would wonder how he would handle the situation if it were him in the hospital bed with an incurable, fatal disease.

“I watched how they handled it, these good North Carolina people,” he said. “Many of them seemed quite at peace. They talked about their faith. I thought, ‘Why aren’t you angry at God? Why don’t you shake your fist at what God has done to you?’ But that is not what happened. They were at peace. They felt like God had been good to them and they had been blessed and they look forward to what came after.”

At the age of 26, Collins said there was one elderly female patient he looked after who suffered awful chest pains because of severe cardiac disease. During her episodes of chest pain, he said she would pray and seem at peace. Collins said she would share her faith with him regularly and that made him uncomfortable.

But one day, she made me really uncomfortable because she told me, ‘Doctor, I have shared my faith with you and you seem to be somebody who cares for me. What do you believe doctor?’” Collins shared. “I don’t think anybody in an honest, open way had really ever asked me that question. I realized I was utterly lacking a response.”

Collins said he felt like he had neglected the most important question that any of us ever really asked: “Is there a God and does that God care about me?”

At that point, 26 years, I had managed to set that aside in the pursuit of other issues. And I was supposed to be a scientist,” he said. “It was interesting finding answers and collecting evidence to see what those answers should be. I had never spent more than five minutes thinking about this particular question or what the answer might be. That really bothered me.”

Collins tried to sure up his atheism and figured it would be good to ask believers why they believe. As it turned out, some of his co-workers were Christian. He figured that they “must have been brainwashed as children and never really quite able to get over it.”

But when Collins spoke with them, he said that they actually made a “fair amount of sense.” However, he was still not fully understanding.

Collins then met with a Methodist pastor who lived on his street. After listening to Collins’ questions, the pastor gave Collins a book by C.S. Lewis and told him that Lewis had many of the same questions that he did.

“[Lewis was an] Oxford scholar who had asked those questions, who had traveled the same path from atheism to belief, kicking and screaming the whole way,” Collins said. “As I turned the pages of that book, I realized my arguments against faith were those of a schoolboy. I realized I had a lot of work to do to try to come to grips with the answer to that question: ‘Is there a God and does He care about me?’”

It still took Collins another two years before he came to have a relationship with Christ. He stressed that it was a struggle as he tried to make sense of other world religions to see which one made the most sense.

Ultimately, he said, it was through talking with Christians with a better depth of understanding and people of other faiths that he was able to come to faith.

“But I also began to appreciate that even from the area of science that I was most comfortable in, there were a lot of pointers to God,” Collins added. “It was the fact that there is something instead of nothing. … The fact that the universe seems to be fine-tuned to make complexity possible and therefore life possible. That actually, nature follows these elegant mathematical rules of second-order differential equations that I had so loved. Why should that be? Why should nature be like this? 

“It seems like there should be a mathematician and a physicist behind all this. Oh my gosh, that sounds like God.”

Collins still had questions about who the Creator was and why the Creator would have such a deep love for human beings. Collins said he referred back to Lewis’s book, Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe.

“I had never really given that serious thought and suddenly, it struck me as profound,” Collins said. “All of us inherently, down through history in every culture, have this sense that it is good and it is evil and that we should strive to be good.”

“I know as a geneticist and somebody who studies evolution that there are times where we are called to do things that aren’t really good for our reproductive fitness yet we know that they are good,” he continued. “That seems to say that there is something deeper here than some evolutionary constraint. Did I come to the point be being convinced by scientific proof that God was real and that Jesus was the son of God? No. But I did realize for me that there was an incredible hunger for not just knowing that God was there but having a relationship.”

Collins said he also knew that he couldn’t come to a relationship with God on his own power because of his own “sinfulness.”

“If there was any opportunity to have a relationship with God that had to be offered up by some kind of a bridge, and I finally understood what Jesus was all about and what the cross was all about,” he said. “It meant that I had heard those people say that Christ died for your sins. I had never gotten that and all of a sudden I did.”

According to Collins, he finally gave his life to Christ during a hike on a dewy morning in the Cascade Mountains in the Pacific Northwest over 49 years ago.

“I fell on my knees and I said, ‘I get it. I am yours. I want to be your follower from now until eternity,’” Collins told the audience. “That has never changed since that day.”

The geneticist recalled that there were some doubters who told him after his conversion that his “head is going to explode” because he won’t be able to reconcile Christian faith with science.

“In all those 41 years, I have never encountered a conflict between what I know as someone who takes Scripture with the greatest seriousness and someone who will not accept your scientific data until you show me why it is right,” Collins said. “I think God calls us to do both of those things.

“And I think it is truly tragic that in our world, in particularly this country over the last 150 years, we have set up young people to believe there is a conflict there. I do not see that. God gives us an incredible opportunity as scientists to learn about God’s creation. And that can be a wonderful form of worship. You can meet God in a laboratory.”

Collins is also the author of the 2006 book, The Language of God.

Collins came under scrutiny from Christians and pro-lifers who called for his resignation last December after he expressed support for fetal tissue research during an NIH Advisory Committee to the Director meeting. He reportedly suggested that fetal tissue research could be done “with [an] ethical framework.”

Although many Christians are grateful for BioLogos’ help in reconciling their faiths and scientific theories, BioLogos has also been criticized by conservative Christians and Young Earth Creationists as being an “attempt to persuade evangelical Christians to embrace some form of evolutionary theory.”

https://www.christianpost.com/news/nih-director-francis-collins-details-his-path-to-christ-after-living-as-an-atheist.html

No Longer Anxious

“I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize that He is able to carry out His will for me. It does not matter where He places me, or how. That is for Him to consider, not me, for in the easiest positions He will give me grace, and in the most difficult ones His grace is sufficient.”

― Hudson Taylor (21 May 1832 – 3 June 1905) was a British Protestant Christian missionary to China and founder of the China Inland Mission (CIM, now OMF International).

From: The Berean Call

“…the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.”

This diseased leaf is from a live oak tree infected with the deadly Oak Wilt fungus. While in the Texas Hill Country, I learned that this reddish pattern is one of the ways to detect the fatal disease. It is an outward manifestation of an otherwise invisible, usually fatal, malady.

When I saw this, I was immediately reminded about what King David wrote in Psalms 1 concerning the righteous man who meditates on the word of God:

“And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.”

King David uses a tree planted by a streams of water as a metaphor to describe a person who meditates on God’s word. Notice as a result of meditating on God’s word, the tree is firmly planted and its leaf does not wither.

The tree is not blown over by the wind. The person who meditates on what God says is not carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming (Ephesians 4:14). Because he knows God’s truth.

The word of God is like a river of life bringing spiritual “nutrients” to us as we sink our roots or thoughts into it. Because “the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12), it can change us, bringing refreshing where there is drought! The Holy Spirit uses it to “judge the thoughts and intentions of ” our hearts bringing revival to us as we deal with what He reveals, good or bad. He wants to restore us to fellowship with the Son and the Father “…so that our joy may be made complete (I John 1:4).

Proverb 11:28 says

“He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.”

Are we spiritually dry today? Do we feel like our spiritual “leaf” is not flourishing but withered; evidence of an invisible disease eating away at our soul? Has the wind of life blown us over or broken part of our values?

Maybe we are feeding our souls too much on the “bread” of the world, the words and images that constantly bombard us during a typical day. Words and images that may even tickle our fancy and offer a distraction from the abrasion of the world but, when it comes to feeding our human spirit, that which communes with God’s Spirit, it is just vanity….nothingness. Like eating sugar all day; sweet but does us no good.

If this is you, I encourage you to plug into His streams of water today. Pick a scripture from the word of God and meditate on it for five minutes or through out the day. Use your mind to dissect the verse and get all of the “water” out of it you can. You will be surprised what His Spirit will show you. Let it free you from the things that choke out the word of God IN YOU: the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of riches (Matt. 13:22). The things that bring drought to your soul, paralyzing your mind, making your will passive and depressing your emotions.

May we let the abundant life Jesus talked about begin to flow out of us as we meditate on His Word. May His word reorder our priorities, expose the enemy’s snares, reveal sins that have defiled us, renew fellowship with Lord Jesus and Father God. He will pour His peace and joy into your spirit which will change the state of your soul!

Lord Jesus said

“It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’ ”

Let us not try to feed our spirits with the world’s “bread” but with His Truths revealed in the Holy Bible.

Blessings and peace to you in Christ Jesus.

Carl

God’s Time Table

Time is not idle.

God Almighty’s clock is ticking.

Time is marching to the Second Coming

The Day of Vengeance of our God is looming (1)

The Year of Redemption will be in the Son of Man’s heart

Man can not stop God’s timing or turn it back

We can only worship the Lord with reverence

And rejoice with trembling

How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! (2)

The day cometh

The Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night

While they say “Peace and Safety” destruction will suddenly come

The godless shall not escape

No. Not one. (3)

There is no fear of the Lord before their eyes (4)

But those who trust in Jesus Christ will not be surprised

The Day will not overtake them like a thief

They all are Sons of Light

They all are Sons of Day

They are alert and sober

Not asleep in the light

For God has not destined them to wrath

But for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ

Therefore encourage one another

As you see the Day approaching (5)

For Time is not idle

God Almighty’s clock is ticking

The Day of Vengeance of our God is looming

The Year of Redemption will be in Jesus’ heart (6)

Even so, Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen. (7)

1. Isaiah 63: 4, Isaiah 61: 2b

2. Psalm 2: 11-12

3. I Thessalonians 5:2-3

4. Romans 3:18

5. I Thessalonians 5:4-11

6. Isaiah 63:4, Isaiah 61:2b

7. Revelations 22: 20-21

Communist China City Pays Up To $1500 To Report Christians

China’s crackdown on Christianity escalated March 20 when the government of the fifth-largest city began issuing rewards to those who report “illegal religious activities,” including house church meetings.

The Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs in Guangzhou said it would reward prizes of 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 yuan ($450, $750 and $1,500 U.S.) to Chinese citizens who spot and turn in their neighbors to government officials, according to Asia News

The size of the prize will depend on the scale of the illegal activity. 

All churches in China are required to register with the government. Some churches, though, face severe restrictions in how they worship and practice their faith. Because of this, millions of Chinese Christians worship underground. 

“The authorities could not have picked a better time, just before Easter to introduce these measures,” a priest told AsiaNews. “At this time, we often meditate on the passion of Jesus and Judas’ treachery for 30 pieces of silver. The Guangzhou government wants to turn people into many mini Judas.”

Guangzhou, with 11 million people, is the fifth-largest city in China and the capital of the province of Guangdong.

Last year Guangzhou authorities shut down the 5,000-member Rongguili Church, but members still meet in homes, Asia News reported. 

Referencing the new regulations, one Christian woman told the website, “Now here in China we live in a Big Brother atmosphere.” Under the new law, citizens can report suspicious Christian activities at the government office, by phone or via letter. 

The law lists as dangerous people who “establish religious places without authorization; non-religious groups; non-religious institutions; non-religious places, temporary places of worship, religious activities and religious donations.” This includes “organizing unauthorized religious courses, conferences, unauthorized pilgrimages,” AsiaNews said. 

Children under 18 are not allowed to take part in Mass or catechism, according to AsiaNews.

Related:

Chinese Official Vows to Eliminate Christianity in China

How I Can Only Imagine Smuggled the Gospel into China

‘We’re Not Allowed to Print Anything’ about Jesus, Chinese Print Shop Tells Church

Persecution Rising in China: And Things Could Get Worse

Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.

Photo courtesy: Pixabay