The Way of A Fruitful Life

“Let any one who has a garden ask the gardener what makes the plants grow so luxuriantly, what makes them produce such sweet and pretty flowers. He will answer, ” The warm summer sun and the damp dew of evening, the cold north wind and the drenching rain, — these all help forward the growth of your plants. Were it not for each, the flowers would not be so bright and blooming.”

Just so it is with the children of God, who are called “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord.” Sometimes they are in trouble; affliction of some kind comes upon them, which tries them, and makes them to grow in faith and patience. Then, again, the Lord raises them up, causing his face to shine upon them, just as the sun warms and revives the earth when the winter is past.

Oh, yes, the Lord’s people require both the north and the south wind to blow upon them, that they may bring forth much fruit to the glory and praise of God.

“Awake, O north wind; and come thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.” (Caut. iv, 16)”

From Martin Luther edited by Miss Whately (1897)

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12: 11)

May the blessings of God be upon your life as you experience all the trials and tribulation that living in this world brings. May your “garden” bring forth much fruit.

Carl

Islamic Imam Beaten and Hunted By Father For Becoming A Christian

NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – Sheikh Hassan Podo, a 28-year-old imam in Kerekerene village in eastern Uganda, missed mosque prayers for three consecutive weeks and was seen entering a church building around noon on March 16.

He had kept his faith in Christ a secret for three weeks. The young Muslim who saw Podo enter the church building in Katira Sub-County, Budaka District, went straight to Podo’s parents and brothers to report him.

When Podo arrived at the house that evening, his family interrogated him about where he had spent the better part of the day.

“Without my completing answering them, my brothers immediately began surrounding me, with sticks,” Podo told Morning Star News. “It was difficult to escape. They began shouting, beating and insulting me as an ‘infidel’ and enemy of the Islamic religion.”

His wife and two children managed to escape to the home of a nearby Christian neighbor, he said.

With sticks and other blunt objects, Podo’s relatives injured his left arm from the shoulder to his fingers, said one of the area residents who found him unconscious. He also sustained a head injury.

“There was a loud cry emanating from Podo’s homestead, raising a big concern from the neighbors who arrived at the scene of attack and helped Podo to escape,” the source said. “He bled as he fled for his life. Later he was found in a pool of blood a kilometer away from the homestead, unconscious.”

They rushed him to a clinic in Katira, and he was discharged after two days and taken to a pastor whose name is withheld for security reasons. His wife and two children later joined him at an undisclosed location.

The pastor said Podo’s father, Mwanamwoiza Juma, has since mobilized a group of Muslims from different mosques “to hunt for the life of his son, declaring a fatwa and disowning him, and giving his land to the brothers for bringing blasphemy into the family. Sheikh Twale and Galami Abdulmutwalibi have been carrying out a series of prayers to curse Podo’s family. But we know the blood of Jesus will protect the family.”

The pastor has been giving Podo discipleship lessons to strengthen the family’s faith in the midst of the ordeal, he said.

Podo put his faith in Christ on Feb. 24 after hearing the message of His saving death and resurrection from another pastor. His wife became a Christian one week later, he said.

Before his conversion, Podo was part of a Muslim extremist group that had attacked the Church of Uganda’s Katira congregation.

“Please family of Christ, our humble request is that we covet prayers for Podo and his young family for God’s healing, medication, protection, provision and to get to a safe haven for the young family,” the pastor said.

The attacks were the latest of many cases of persecution of Christians in eastern Uganda that Morning Star News has documented.

Uganda’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another.

Muslims make up no more than 12 percent of Uganda’s population, but with high concentrations in eastern areas of the country.

If you would like to help persecuted Christians, visit https://morningstarnews.org/resources/aid-agencies/ for a list of organizations that can orient you on how to get involved.  

Wisdom Calls – The Conclusion of All Things

King Solomon, aka “The Preacher”, gives you and I hard-earned advice on what is important in living out our life. Being very, very rich and not always obedient to the Lord, Solomon investigated all of life’s pleasures and came to the following conclusion.

The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14

Now let’s look at the Amplified Bible’s translation of the same Scripture. The richness of the Hebrew amplification is stunning and far reaching when you apply it to the way you live your life. The authors of the Amplified Bible say that this is what a Hebrew person understands when he reads this Scripture.

All has been heard; the end of the matter is: Fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is] and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man [the full, original purpose of his creation, the object of God’s providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man.

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it is good or evil. [Matt. 12:36; Acts 17:30, 31; Rom. 2:16; I Cor. 4:5.]

Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14

Take a few moments and dwell on this Scripture. It is worthy of your pondering and meditation.

A short definition of the fear of the Lord is a healthy, overwhelming, profound, adoring, awed respect of the Lord. It is not a negative practice. As a matter of fact, Scripture tells us it is our treasure. We will discuss that later.

May we New Testament believers follow Apostle Paul’s instructions:

“THEREFORE, since these [great] promises are ours, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates and defiles body and spirit, and bring [our] consecration to completeness in the [reverential] fear of God. ”

2 Cor. 7:1 Amplified Bible

Thank you for your time and interest. Comments welcome!

Be blessed and protected in Christ Jesus!

Carl

When It’s Not Safe to Die

The following is an excerpt from One Heartbeat Away by author Mark Cahill. His book is designed to help us think about the inevitable: our death. It is a great witnessing tool to promote discussion with anyone not sure of their eternal destiny.

“I talked to a young man one day who mentioned that he had been injured and ended up on an emergency room operating table. He said his heart had stopped beating and as his soul rose out of his body, immediately the sense of an evil presence began to come over him and he could hear an evil, hissing laughter. He told me he was so glad to get back into his body and be alive. He now knows how real evil is.

A respiratory nurse who works in an emergency room told me about a patient who had gone “code red,” —he flatlined. She and some other medical personnel rushed over with the defibrillator to try to bring him back to life. They applied the paddles and revived him. She said that he started screaming and shouting, “The heat! the heat!” Then his heart stopped again.

They brought him back to the second time. He shouted, “The flames, the flames!” They lost him again.

Four times the man flatlined and was brought back, each time shouting about the heat or the flames. After the last time, he died, and they couldn’t bring him back. She said all the doctors and nurses just stood there for a few minutes and stared at the body. They all knew that man went to hell. He was screaming it to them before he even got out of here.

I have met several people (all in a non-drug and non-alcohol-induced state) who experienced a burning hell rather than being with Jesus, or the typical tunnel- and white-lights scenario. So, don’t believe that sweetness-and-light neardeath stories are the only kind people report.

Dr. Maurice Rawlings, a cardiologist, has witnessed numerous patients during and after their near-death experiences and reported his findings in Omni magazine. After interviewing 300 patients immediately after resuscitation, Dr. Rawlings says that nearly half of them reported seeing a lake of fire, devil-like figures, and other sights reflecting the reality of hell. “There is a life after death,” Rawlings said, and if I don’t know where I’m going, it’s not safe to die. ” (Source: Chick Publication)

Dear Reader: God created the lake of fire, what we call hell, for the devil and his angels, not for man. He is not willing that any should perish but that all would repent of their sins and trust in Jesus as the sacrifice for their sins. He sent Jesus to the Cross to pay the penalty of your and my sins so that we would not have to pay for them, for the wages of sin is death.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

John 3:16-17

Therefore, if you are without Christ in this evil world, call out to Him now and ask Him to save you from the guilt and penalty of your sins.

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” — that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,
9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

Romans 10: 8-11

Jesus will save you from the wrath of God. You will be born again and become a new creation in Christ Jesus. Don’t let the devil fool you. This is the decision he wants you to put off so you will be with him in hell for eternity.

Drop me a comment if I can help you get started in your Christian walk.

God bless!

Carl

Is It Good Thursday or Good Friday?

Have you ever wondered how Lord Jesus spent three days and three nights in the grave when He died on Good Friday and was resurrected Sunday morning. If I can count that is only two. During Easter I received the following that explains that He really died on Thursday and not Good Friday. I think you will find it interesting and well documented. The information is from the Berean Call. Enjoy and God bless you! Carl

Question: I understand that you believe that Jesus died on the cross on Thursday, not Good Friday. Why do you say that, and does it matter?

Response: Scripture reveals the answer. Through the writings of Jeremiah, Daniel learned that the Babylonian captivity would last 70 years (Dn 9:2). God had commanded that each seven years the Hebrew slaves should be set free, debtors forgiven, and the land given a one-year sabbath of rest (Ex 21:2;  Lv 25:2-4; Dt 15:1,2,12). For 490 years Israel had disobeyed this precept. In judgment, the Jews became slaves of Babylon while their land rested for 70 years of sabbaths.

Daniel confessed this sin, pondering and praying, and was given the revelation that another period of 490 years (70 weeks of years) lay ahead for his people and for Jerusalem (9:24). Then all of Israel’s sins would be purged, all prophecy fulfilled and ended, and the Messiah would reign on David’s throne in Jerusalem. These 70 weeks of years were to be counted “from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” (v. 25). That crucial date is given to us in Scripture.

Nehemiah tells us: “in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king” (2:1), he received the authorization to rebuild Jerusalem. When the day of the month was not given, the first day was intended. There were several Artaxerxes, but only one, Longimanus, who ruled more than 20 years—from 465-425 BC. Thus we have the key date from which this incredible prophecy was to be calculated: Nisan 1, 445 BC.

At the end of 69 of these “weeks” (7×69 = 483 years) “Messiah the Prince” would be made known to Israel (Dn 9:25) and then “be cut off [slain]” (v. 26). Counting 483 years of 360 days each (the Hebrew and Babylonian calendar), a total of 173,880 days from Nisan 1, 445 bc brings us to Sunday, April 6, ad 32. On that very day, now celebrated as Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a young donkey and was hailed as Messiah the Prince! (See also Zec:9:9

There is, however, an even deeper meaning to the phrase, “In the fulness of time”: April 6, ad 32, on the Hebrew calendar was the tenth of Nisan. On that day, the Passover lamb was taken from the flock and placed under observation for four days to make certain that it was “without blemish.” During the same four days, Christ, whom John the Baptist had hailed as “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (Jn:1:29before“the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it [the passover lamb] in the evening [between 3:00 and 6:00 pm]” (Ex 12:6). It was during that precise time period that Jesus died on the cross!

In fact, the rabbis had determined not to arrest Jesus during Passover, “lest there be an uproar of the people” (Mk 14:2). Yet that was when He had to die. Judas was not only Satan’s pawn but God’s. Even the “thirty pieces of silver” for which he so shrewdly bargained fulfilled prophecy (Zec:11:12-Paul wrote, “Christ our passover [lamb] is sacrificed for us” (1 Cor:5:7

The fourteenth of Nisan began at sunset Wednesday evening. That night, Jesus and His disciples had the “last supper” in the upper room where they were preparing to eat the Passover the following night. At this meal “before the feast of the passover” (Jn:13:1), Jesus told His disciples, “One of you shall betray me” (Jn:13:21significantly, “I tell you before…that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he” (Jn:13:19 was declaring once again to His disciples that He was Yahweh, the I AM of Israel, who tells beforehand what will happen and makes certain that it comes to pass (Is 46:9-10).

Arrested by the Judas-led troop in the Garden later that night, Christ was taken secretly to the palace of Caiaphas, the high priest. A sham trial with hastily called false witnesses convened sometime after midnight and condemned Christ to death as dawn broke. Pilate, the Roman governor, was notified of the emergency. Hurriedly taken down side streets, the prisoner was received into the citadel at “the third hour” (Mk 15:25), (about 9:00 am), Nisan 14. All over Israel preparations were underway to kill the Passover lamb, which was to be eaten that night.

Pilate let his citizens decide the prisoner’s fate. The bloodthirsty rabble turned against the One who had miraculously healed and fed so many of them. “Crucify him, crucify him” (Lk 23:21). “His blood be on us, and on our children” (Mt 27:25).

Shortly before noon, Jesus, scourged and beaten, was led out of the city to “the place of the skull.” By noon, the One whom Jerusalem, in fulfillment of prophecy, had hailed as its long-awaited Messiah, was hanging naked on the center cross between two thieves. Man had crucified his Creator!

The next three hours of that Thursday afternoon the earth was darkened mysteriously (Mt 27:45) as God “laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Is 53:6). Thursday? Not “Good Friday”? Indeed not. Jesus himself had said, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth [i.e., “Abraham’s bosom”]” (Mt 12:40; Lk 16:22). The gospel includes the declaration that Christ “rose again the third day” (1 Cor:15:4).

Had Christ been crucified on Friday, He couldn’t possibly have spent three days and three nights in the grave by Sunday morning. We are distinctly told that the angel rolled away the stone “as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week” (Mt 28:1). The tomb was already empty, so Christ must have risen from the dead sometime prior to dawn.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday—does it really matter? Yes! The day of our Lord’s crucifixion is of the utmost importance. If Christ was not three days and three nights in the grave, then He lied. His death, to fulfill prophecy, had to occur at the very time the Passover lambs were being slain throughout Israel. It is an astronomical fact that Nisan 14, AD 32, fell on Thursday.

“And it was the preparation of the passover….The Jews therefore…that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day…besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away” (Jn:19:14 of the Passover lamb (Ex 12:46) or of the Messiah (Ps:34:20 knowing why he did it, “one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side” (Jn:19:34), fulfilling yet another scripture: “they shall look upon me whom they pierced” (Zec:12:10

John explains that the “Sabbath,” which began at sunset the Thursday Christ was crucified, “was an high day.” It was, in fact, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, of which the first and last days were special sabbaths. It ended Friday at sunset,  immediately followed by the weekly sabbath that ended at sunset on Saturday. Thus two sabbaths followed Christ’s death, preventing the women from coming to the grave until the third day, Sunday morning.

The rabbis thought that having Jesus crucified proved He wasn’t the Messiah. In fact, it was one more proof that He was! The soldiers took His clothes for a souvenir and gambled for His robe (Ps:22:18 nails were driven into His hands and feet, and a spear pierced His side, drawing forth the blood of our redemption—all in fulfillment of prophecy!

[Adapted from “The Cradle and the Cross,” Dave Hunt, 1992]

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.