The Jesus Code: The Course of Sin + LINKUP

 

The Jesus Code

Chapter 7 of The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer, by O.S. Hawkins. For those of you just tuning in, The Jesus Code has 52 questions, one to contemplate each week. The author believes every Christian should be able to answer these important questions.

This week’s question: “Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight?” (2 Samuel 12.9).

That was the conscience shattering question the Prophet Nathan asked David after he has sinned with Bathsheba and tried to hide it. Since David first looked over the roof of his house and saw her bathing, he had committed adultery, had her husband killed, and married her to hide her pregnancy.

The author says:

Ironically, at this moment in his life, David had reached the pinnacle of success. He was the undisputed king of Israel. He had driven out enemies who had plagued his people for years. He was not only a political success but a spiritual success as well. God referred to David as “a man after My own heart” (Acts 13: 22). It is difficult to believe that such a great man could descend from such heavenly heights to such devilish depths almost overnight.

When we think we can control sin, it can get its hook in us and take us on a downward spiral that we never expected.

Hawkins goes on:

It makes no difference whether it is David, or Adam and Eve, or you or me. The course of sin is the same. It begins when we see . . . then we covet . . . next we take . . . and finally we try to hide, hoping against hope we will not be found out.

David learned that the pleasures of sin are only for a season (Hebrews 11: 25). Bathsheba conceived as a result of her encounter with David, but their little boy died as an infant . What had begun in pleasure ended in pain and loss in several forms. But this was just the beginning of the heartache David would know from his own offspring. His son Amnon raped Tamar , his own sister and David’s daughter. Learning of the incest, Absalom— another of David’s sons— killed Amnon. And , as though that were not enough, Absalom later led a revolt against his own father and, during the battle, was killed by some of David’s men.

But when confronted, David repented. He is a great example to us that even the most grievous sins can be forgiven when there is genuine confession and repentance.

Next week’s question is, “Ask! What shall I give you?” (1 Kings 3.5).

The question for week one was, “Has God Indeed Said …?”
Week two: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
Week three: “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”
Week four: “Who am I?”
Week five: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?” (Numbers 21.5).
Week six: “If the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?” (Judges 6.13).
Week seven: “Is there still anyone … That I may show him kindness?” (2 Samuel 9.1).

You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.

Be sure to sign up for the “Christian Living” emails so you won’t miss upcoming posts on the book and notifications of each week’s LINKUP.

Blessings,
Donna

 

Featured Post:

A few days ago I said we need to be willing to stand up for truth in the “everyday” things if we want to be able to stand in the “big” things. I’m reluctant to call this subject a “little” thing, because the moral decline of our nation isn’t little. But sadly, it has become an “everyday” thing.

As most of you know the book, and now the movie, 50 Shades of Grey, have become all the rage. So called enlightened people claim it can enhance your sex life and justify seeing and reading it a dozen different ways. But true enlightenment comes only from God and His Word:

22 “Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! (Matt. 6)

I read an excellent post on the subject this week and I want to share it with you. I hope you will take the time to read Rebekah’s post and consider sharing it with others.

ready to be offered meme 1[1]

Sex, Bondage, Fantasy . . . and Embracing What is Real

Divine Counterpart

Be sure to check out the first in my series on Genesis, “Divine Counterpart,” on Ren’s website “A Look at the Book.”

 

NOW IT’S TIME TO LINKUP:

linkup


 

I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:
Mondays
Making Your Home Sing Mondays The Beauty in His Grip What Joy is Mine/Monday Musings A Proverbs 31 Wife Darling Downs Diaries
Tuesdays Rich Faith Rising Unite Linky Cornerstone Confessions Titus 2 Tuesday Teaching What is Good Time Warp Wife Solo Deo Gloria Sisterhood More of Him Testimony Tuesday
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Juana Mikels Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesdays Judith Whole Hearted Home A Little R & R So Much at Home Mom’s Morning Coffee The Art of Homemaking
Thursdays Serving Joyfully/Thriving Thursdays 3-D Lessons for Life/Thought Provoking Thursdays The Deliberate Mom/Shine Blog Hop I Choose Joy
Fridays A Look at the Book Christian Mommy Blogger Fellowship Fridays Worshipful Living Blessing Counters Missional Women Faith Filled Fridays Faith & Fellowship Bloghop Grace & Truth Linkup
Saturdays Still Saturday The Weekend Brew
Sundays Spiritual Sundays Sunday Stillness

This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!

The Jesus Code: “Showing Kindness” + LINKUP

 

The Jesus Code

Chapter 7 of The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer, by O.S. Hawkins. For those of you just tuning in, The Jesus Code has 52 questions, one to contemplate each week. The author believes every Christian should be able to answer these important questions.

This week’s question: “Is there still anyone … That I may show him kindness?” (2 Samuel 9.1).

 

Paul wrote in Romans 2 that it’s the kindness of God that leads men to repentance. And it’s the kindness of others that can sometimes soften the hardest heart and open it to the Gospel.

David was the newly appointed king. He was a busy, important man, but when he contemplated the goodness of God and how God had used his friend Jonathan to save his life, he remembered his covenant with Jonathan. That was the occasion for this question:

“Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

We, too, have a covenant relationship with our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ who has asked us to show kindness to one another:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law (Gal. 5.22-23).

14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you (Jn. 13.14-15).

What about you? Is there someone in your sphere of influence to whom you can show kindness? Quoting the author:

“People we encounter at the office and in the grocery story , people we live with at home and worship with on Sundays, are in desperate need of kind words and deeds. Divine opportunities are all around you every day. Make a conscious effort today to show kindness to someone . . . not for “Jonathan’s sake,” but for Jesus’ sake.”

 

Next week’s question is, “Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight?” (2 Samuel 12.9).

The question for week one was, “Has God Indeed Said …?”
Week two: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
Week three: “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”
Week four: “Who am I?”
Week five: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?” (Numbers 21.5).
Week six: “If the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?” (Judges 6.13).

You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.

Be sure to sign up for the “Christian Living” emails so you won’t miss upcoming posts on the book and notifications of each week’s LINKUP.

Blessings,
Donna

 

 

NOW IT’S TIME TO LINKUP:

linkup


I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:
Mondays
Making Your Home Sing Mondays The Beauty in His Grip What Joy is Mine/Monday Musings A Proverbs 31 Wife Darling Downs Diaries
Tuesdays Rich Faith Rising Unite Linky Cornerstone Confessions Titus 2 Tuesday Teaching What is Good Time Warp Wife Solo Deo Gloria Sisterhood More of Him Testimony Tuesday
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Juana Mikels Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesdays Judith Whole Hearted Home A Little R & R So Much at Home Mom’s Morning Coffee The Art of Homemaking
Thursdays Serving Joyfully/Thriving Thursdays 3-D Lessons for Life/Thought Provoking Thursdays The Deliberate Mom/Shine Blog Hop I Choose Joy
Fridays A Look at the Book Christian Mommy Blogger Fellowship Fridays Worshipful Living Blessing Counters Missional Women Faith Filled Fridays Faith & Fellowship Bloghop Grace & Truth Linkup
Saturdays Still Saturday The Weekend Brew
Sundays Spiritual Sundays Sunday Stillness

This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!

Bite Sized Theology: “What is Special Revelation?”

 

Bite Sized Theology: What Is Special Revelation? - We’re going to take another bite out of the Doctrine of the Bible or Bibliology. This week we’ll talk about Special Revelation.

 

Two weeks ago I said the Bible is The Book. It is not just a book about God, but a book written by God Himself. Last week we discussed The Canon, why we can trust that the 66 books of the Bible are God’s Word.

Today we’re going to talk briefly about the two ways that God reveals Himself to mankind: General and Special Revelation. Then we’ll focus on Special Revelation as it relates to the Bible.

 

General Revelation

 

General Revelation is just that … it’s general. It’s God’s revelation of Himself to all men at all times. He does so through creation: the wonder and beauty of nature, the magnificence of the universe, and the human body, including the conscience.

General Revelation is spoken of in Psalm 19.1-4:

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
    The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
    night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word;
    their voice is never heard.
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
    and their words to all the world.(NLT)

And in Romans 1.20:

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

We are “without excuse.” Creation itself reveals enough to make us accountable before God to believe in Him.

In fact, Romans 1 goes on:

21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.

 

Special Revelation

 

Special Revelation is more limited. It includes things such as: angels, prophets, dreams and visions, miracles, the lot, His appearances to various people, and through His written Word, the Bible. But the ultimate revelation of God to mankind was through His Son, Jesus Christ.

God has been involved with and has been speaking to people since Creation. He walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the garden (Gen. 3.8), He gave them instructions for living even before the fall (Gen. 2.15-17).

He spoke to Cain and warned him of the lurking danger of sin in his life (Gen. 4.6-7). He spoke to Abraham, Noah, Moses, Paul and many others in both the Old Testament and the New.

He revealed Himself through a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire and through a burning bush. He manifested His presence in a cloud of glory and various other ways.

He spoke repeatedly through prophets, judges, and through the intermediary of the Priesthood. He performed miracles: making bitter water sweet, parting the Red Sea, raising the dead, bringing plagues and famines, and protecting from the same. He defeated armies against all odds, healed lepers, caused the lame to walk, and opened barren wombs.

He revealed present and future events through dreams and visions. He brought messages through angels.

He spoke His Words through the writers of the Bible and preserved His written Word even amidst the rubble of defeat:  Continue reading

The Jesus Code: “Why then has all this happened?” + LINKUP

 

The Jesus Code

Chapter 6 of The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer, by O.S. Hawkins. For those of you just tuning in, The Jesus Code has 52 questions, one to contemplate each week. The author believes every Christian should be able to answer these important questions.

The question for week one was, “Has God Indeed Said …?”
Week two: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
Week three: “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”
Week four: “Who am I?”
Week five: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?” (Numbers 21.5).

This week’s question: “If the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?” (Judges 6.13).

 

Using Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 1.8-11, the author suggests Paul may have been asking the same question:

… that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, 10 who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, 11 you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.

Many, probably all, of us have asked that question, too. Hawkins says the discouragement that comes from not knowing the answer often causes us to want to “give out, give in and give up.”

He suggests we need to look for a cause (Why would God allow this trial in our lives?) and a cure (What should be our response?).

The answer to the first question is in verse 9, “that we should not trust in ourselves.”

How easy it is to fall into self-sufficiency. Quoting the author:

Most of us have been there. Some little victory comes our way, and we begin taking some of the credit and trusting in ourselves. Our Bibles remain closed in the morning. Prayer is pushed aside in the busyness of the day. Then something happens that makes us realize once again that “we should not trust in ourselves” (v. 9) but in the Lord.

And the cure is in verses 10-11, again quoting Hawkins:

The cure is twofold: it is in hope and in help. Paul said that his hope and trust were in Christ (2 Corinthians 1: 10). And his help? “You also helping together in prayer for us” (v. 11). The English phrase “helping together” translates one compound Greek word meaning that we are in this together; we need each other. The word picture describes men and women working together under the same load and not against each other. Hope in Christ and help from others is the cure, enabling us to find our way out of the paralysis of discouragement.

Ultimately, it’s about God’s sovereignty. He sees the big picture and we don’t. He is our loving Heavenly Father and He knows what we need at every point in our walk with Him.

 

Of course, I’m only touching on the high points. Hawkins has so much more to say in each chapter. Our church staffed used Hawkins’ previous book, The Joshua Code: 52 Scripture Verses Every Believer Should Know, as a devotional last year, going through a chapter each week before our staff meeting. This book could be used in the same way or as a personal devotional.

You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.

Next week’s question is, “Is there still anyone … That I may show him kindness?” (2 Samuel 9.1).

Be sure to sign up for the “Christian Living” emails so you won’t miss upcoming posts on the book and notifications of each week’s LINKUP.

Blessings,
Donna

 

 

 NOW IT’S TIME TO LINKUP:

linkup


 

I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:
Mondays
Making Your Home Sing Mondays The Beauty in His Grip What Joy is Mine/Monday Musings A Proverbs 31 Wife Darling Downs Diaries
Tuesdays Rich Faith Rising Unite Linky Cornerstone Confessions Titus 2 Tuesday Teaching What is Good Time Warp Wife Solo Deo Gloria Sisterhood More of Him Testimony Tuesday
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Juana Mikels Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesdays Judith Whole Hearted Home A Little R & R So Much at Home Mom’s Morning Coffee The Art of Homemaking
Thursdays Serving Joyfully/Thriving Thursdays 3-D Lessons for Life/Thought Provoking Thursdays The Deliberate Mom/Shine Blog Hop I Choose Joy
Fridays A Look at the Book Christian Mommy Blogger Fellowship Fridays Worshipful Living Blessing Counters Missional Women Faith Filled Fridays Faith & Fellowship Bloghop Grace & Truth Linkup
Saturdays Still Saturday The Weekend Brew
Sundays Spiritual Sundays Sunday Stillness

This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!

Bite Sized Theology: The Canon

 

Bite Sized Theoloy: The Canon

This week we’re going to take another bite out of the Doctrine of the Bible or Bibliology. This week: the Canon.

 

Bite Sized Theology: The Canon

 

Last week I said the Bible is The Book. It is not just a book about God, but a book written by God Himself. Check out last week’s “Bite Sized Theology,” if you missed it.

The Bible is made up of 66 books written by more than 40 different men. There are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.

One big question is “How did those 66 books become recognized as the Bible, also called the Canon of Scriptures?” Good question!

The word canon comes from a Latin word that means “a rule or a measuring rod.” Referring to the Canon, Charles Ryrie in his book Basic Theology says:

“It refers to the list of books that met certain tests or rules and thus were considered authoritative and canonical. But it also means that the collection of canonical books becomes our rule of life.”¹

So what were the tests?

 

The Old Testament:

 

All 39 books of the Old Testament have the authority of a lawgiver, a prophet, or a leader of Israel behind them and all 39 books were accepted without question well before the New Testament period.

In Matthew 5.17 Jesus validated the Old Testament when He said He would fulfill them all:

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”

Jesus and the other New Testament writers quoted the Old more than 250 times and there are many cross references within the Old Testament itself.

 

The New Testament:

 

All 27 New Testament books have the authority of an Apostle behind them. The writers themselves witnessed to the validity of their own and each others writings (Col. 4.16; 1 Thess. 2.13, 4.15; 2 Pet. 3.16).

“as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures” (2 Pet. 3.16).

There was also the test of acceptance. The Church Fathers recognized them as Scripture, as did the Churches themselves.

Various Church Councils took up the issue and by 397 A.D. with the Council of Carthage all 66 books of the Bible were confirmed as the Canon.

It’s important, however, to remember that the books of the Bible are not canonical because certain church councils decided they were. They are canonical because they were authored by God Himself. Groups of learned men merely confirmed by careful study what was already true.

Books by various cult leaders that have been placed along side the Bible are not Scripture and the books that have been added to the Roman Catholic Bible, the Apocrypha, are not part of the Canon. Because the Canon is closed, there are no “so called” lost books and any continuing revelation is not a part of God’s inspired Word.

Over the next few weeks we’ll talk more about the Word of God, why it is inerrant and sufficient, and why we can trust God’s Word as the guiding standard for our lives.

 

Every believer should be a theologian. But theology doesn’t have to be difficult to understand. Each week I’ll be explaining another concept and why it is important to your life and mine.

Why not join me for this series of weekly posts on “Bite-Sized Theology” so you don’t miss any new ones? Sign up here.

¹Charles Ryrie, Basic Theology, p. 119

 


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Handling Emotions Biblically - Emotions are real and part of being human. In fact, God created us as emotional beings. But problems result when we allow our emotions to control our thoughts, words, and actions. When that happens, we can quickly end up in a ditch, spiritually and relationally.

You can also SIGN UP FOR SPECIAL “CHRISTIAN LIVING” posts, including the new series “Handling Emotions Biblically.”

Previous Posts in the “Handling Emotions Biblically” Series

Marriage Made in Heaven?

Previous Posts in the “Marriage: Made in Heaven?” Series


Blended Families + LINKUP - I'll be talking about the common issues and challenges, offering some solutions, and providing resources to help. If you're not a blended family, I'm sure you know someone who is. The first post will start in the next linkup.

Previous Posts in the “Blended Families” Series



I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:

Mondays The Modest Mom The Art of Homemaking Musing Mondays
Tuesdays Purposeful Faith Tea & Word Tuesday Talk
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Messy Marriage Coffee for Your Heart Christian Blogger Linkup Women of Intention Mississippi Mom Writer Wednesday Seeking God in All I Do Warriors of the Word Coffee & Conversation
Thursdays Chasing Community Booknificent Thursdays Dare2Hear
Fridays Missional Women Grace & Truth Faith & Friends Fresh Market Friday Dance with Jesus
Sundays Spiritual Sundays

This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!

“Bible in a Year” posts have been edited and updated from previous posts.

The Jesus Code: “Why, Lord?” + LINKUP

Chapter 5 of The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer, by O.S. Hawkins. For those of you just tuning in, The Jesus Code has 52 questions, one to contemplate each week. The author believes every Christian should be able to answer these important questions.

The question for week one was, “Has God Indeed Said …?”
Week two: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
Week three: “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”
Week four: “Who am I?”

This week: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?” (Numbers 21.5).

In this chapter the author points out that few people in history have ever seen the number of miracles that the children of Israel did during the Exodus and the events that followed. Yet, when they got their eyes off of yesterday’s blessings (and miracles) and on to today’s problems, they started to question God.

As they focused on the “now,” they were unhappy about two things. They didn’t like how they were being led and they didn’t like what they were being fed. They became discouraged and started to grumble and complain about Moses and the menu … and they rebelled. Quoting the author:

Discouragement left to fester can have devastating results. Ask any one of these Jews in the wilderness. They learned that when we openly rebel against God’s leadership and provision in our lives, He often disciplines us for our own benefit: “The LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died” (Numbers 21: 6).

Discouragement comes from getting our eyes off of the Lord and His provision. When it’s not dealt with, it leads to sin and rebellion against God which, in turn, leads to painful consequences. God sent fiery serpents among them. When they were bitten it caused excruciating pain and some even died.

Sin causes pain in our lives, too, and as Paul told us, the end result is death (Rom. 6.23). But discouragement also has a remedy. When the people cried out, Moses prayed and God instructed him to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole. When the people looked at it, they were healed.

In the New Testament, Jesus told Nicodemus, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life” (Jn. 3.14-15).

That bronze serpent in the wilderness represented Christ. He was the answer then, just as He is now.

You can get a copy of The Jesus Code and follow along with these 52 vital questions. The chapters are short and can easily be read in one sitting. If you do, I’d love your feedback. Click here to get the book or here for Kindle.

Next week’s question is, “If the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?” (Judges 6.13).

Be sure to sign up for the “Christian Living” emails so you won’t miss upcoming posts on the book and notifications of each week’s LINKUP.

Blessings,
Donna

 

 

NOW IT’S TIME TO LINKUP:

  linkup


 

I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs: Mondays Making Your Home Sing Mondays The Beauty in His Grip What Joy is Mine/Monday Musings A Proverbs 31 Wife Darling Downs Diaries Book Musing Mondays Tuesdays Rich Faith Rising Unite Linky Cornerstone Confessions Titus 2 Tuesday Teaching What is Good Time Warp Wife Solo Deo Gloria Sisterhood More of Him Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Juana Mikels My Daily Walk in His Grace Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesdays Judith Whole Hearted Home A Little R & R So Much at Home Mom’s Morning Coffee Thursdays Serving Joyfully/Thriving Thursdays 3-D Lessons for Life/Thought Provoking Thursdays The Deliberate Mom/Shine Blog Hop I Choose Joy Fridays A Look at the Book Christian Mommy Blogger Fellowship Fridays Worshipful Living Blessing Counters Missional Women Faith Filled Fridays Saturdays Still Saturday The Weekend Brew Missional Call Sundays Spiritual Sundays Sunday Stillness   This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!