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scorpion

It’s so fun, isn’t it, to discover how far we fall short of what God requires of us.

Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect, Jesus said (Matthew 5:48). 1

Oh, my.

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for-blog-6

In response to last week’s article, a friend submitted a passage of Scripture concerning the sovereignty and goodness of God, a message, if preached, he wrote sarcastically, would “fill the pews”:

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2004-07-10_1522_fromjoewatson-woman-by-the-water

In this series of articles, we have attempted to wrestle through the uncomfortable question if it is God’s will that people do horrendous acts, such as the rape and torture of children, or any other unconscionable deed. However, we have also had to consider the biblical truth that, from God’s perspective, without the righteousness that Jesus has freely given, we ourselves are guilty of crimes, just like the individuals who do the things we abhor. It is a difficult truth to swallow, but swallow it we must; otherwise, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross means nothing. The good news is that if we accept that amazing truth, we are free from our despicability. It’s amazing to comprehend, but Christians are now clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Himself. Perfect. Clean. Without guilt. We possess eternal life. Believers in Jesus actually become God’s sons and daughters and will receive an inheritance, of all things. Jesus was punished, we are not. We are, instead, recipients of grace and forgiveness for—everything.

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2004-07-10_1522_fromjoewatson-woman-by-the-water
This week’s blog post begins with a provocative question: When terrorists strike, are they doing God’s will?

Before we come up with an answer off the tops of our heads, let’s think about this for a moment and ask a question concerning the nature of God. “Is there anything the Lord cannot do?” Biblically, the answer to that question is, “No.”

Stay with me.

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2005-02-28_0857-25

If a Christian prays for someone to be healed, and the person isn’t healed, whose faith is it that’s lacking?

D. A. Carson wrote about two Jewish men talking on the night of the first Passover. This is a paraphrase: One man said, “I know that you are trusting completely in what Moses said, that God commanded us to put the blood of a lamb on our doorposts so the destroying angel would pass over our households tonight and spare our first-born sons, but you have several sons. I have only one. I’m afraid.” The other man replied, “God will do as He has said. Do not worry.” Carson asked, “Which father’s son lived that night?” Carson answered, “Both. It was not the quality of their faith that saved them. It was the quality of the sacrifice.”

In a related way, believers often wonder if it’s the poor quality of their faith when people aren’t healed when they pray. True, sometimes, people are healed. Most of the time, however, they are not. This mystifying quandary has led to some strange considerations and supposed solutions. Let’s review a few.

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orionspringdickinson1024

This may seem like an odd title for a post, I suppose, but I’m endeavoring to add a note of truth to the beautiful account of Jesus’ birth in the stable; a fuller understanding of who this Baby was, in His immense glory. The impotent infant Jesus we read about in those accounts in Matthew and Luke left His home in heaven, more magnificent than we can imagine, possessing more power than we can imagine, to this dark, rebellious planet, so he could…die. He has called all Christians to enter into that self-denying-I-will-die-for-God-and-others life, as well. Please keep this in mind when someone tells you that you should live a purpose-driven life.

But I digress.

This God-in-the-flesh Man is called, among many other things, a Prince of Peace. Why is that?

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p1030892

Is the Christian God good?

Some will say that He is not good at all. They will bring up the biblical truth that He committed genocide against the Canaanites. It’s right there in the Old Testament. In more recent history, He allowed the slaughter of millions of Jews during World War Two. He allows all kinds of atrocities. If Christians or Jews, such critics say, declare He is all-powerful, then He must be uncaring, because if He is caring, He would have prevented such cruelties; but He didn’t. Therefore, He is either impotent or uncaring. He is one or the other. We can’t have it both ways, they say.

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2005-03-19_1454-56_thomsoncam0377

Tomorrow morning, all United States citizens will wake up with a new president. Well, probably, unless there is a recount or ballot-checking or…who knows?

Yes, it’s been that kind of election season.

Some Republicans believe the fate of the United States hinges on the outcome of this election.

Some Democrats think the same.

Neither are correct. Read the rest of this entry »

2004-07-06_1451_fromjoewatson

Last week, I listened to a great message from Matt Chandler on the fourth chapter of Exodus. I’m going to draw from that message in this post and hopefully enlarge upon it somewhat. The points I will make here are not those Pastor Matt made. His primary emphasis was Moses’ obedience in faith that caused God’s power to be revealed, and he challenged his church to follow Moses’ example.

It is a wonderful teaching.

The Exodus 4 passage details the exchange between the Lord and Moses in the wilderness. Much can be taught here, but we’re going to focus on acts the Lord instructed Moses to do which were to prove to him, Israel, the Pharaoh, and Egypt that He, God, was sending Moses to bring His people out of Egypt.

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In our last look at the Book of Job, we saw that the Lord God Creator continued to ask Job questions he just could not answer, because Job was not God. He did not know all things the way our Father does, nor could he instruct His creations about how they should behave. Job was finally reduced to silence, but after God humbled him, he did speak:

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